Central State patient’s family retains civil rights attorney Ben Crump, their attorney says

Nationally renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump answers questions following the Springfield Branch NAACP 102nd Annual Lincoln-Douglas Freedom Fund Banquet on Sunday, February 19, 2023 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

DINWIDDIE — The family of the man who died at Central State Hospital after being pinned down by Henrico County deputies has hired civil rights attorney Ben Crump. according to the family lawyer.

Crump will be introduced Thursday afternoon at a news conference called by Mark Krudys, attorney for Irvo Otieno’s family, at the Dinwiddie County Courthouse. Its retention was first reported by the Washington Post.

Crump is a nationally recognized attorney who gained attention for representing the families of Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, black victims of three high-profile US homicides over the past 10 years.

Otieno, a 28-year-old Kenyan living in Henrico County. died March 6 after Henrico deputies took him to Central State. Otieno reportedly became disruptive during the admissions process, prompting MPs to hold him back.

Each of the MPs was charged with second-degree murder in Otieno’s death. Dinwiddie Commonwealth Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill said “disturbing” video of CSH surveillance showed MPs throwing a handcuffed and shirtless Otieno face down on the ground and laying on top of him. According to Baskervill, the state coroner has tentatively said Otieno died of asphyxiation.

The seven MPs appeared before Dinwiddie District Court on Wednesday morning. Two of them were released on bail, the other five are in prisons in the Braunschweig and Hanover districts.

They were identified as Jermaine Lavar Branch, 45; Bradley Thomas Disse, 43; Randy Joseph Boyer, 57; Dwayne Alan Bramble, 37; Tabitha Rene Levere, 50; Brandon Edward Rodgers, 48; and Kalyell Dajour Sanders, 30. Branch and Disse were issued bails of $15,000 and $10,000, respectively, and were ordered not to contact anyone involved in the case while they were away.

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A grand jury will meet next Tuesday to decide whether to indict the MPs.

More: CSH death update: Two MPs granted bail, prosecutor describes ‘disturbing’ video of restraint

The story goes on

More:Governor, police union ponder arrest of deputies after death at Central State Hospital

Bill Atkinson (he/him/his) is an award-winning journalist covering breaking news, government and politics. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @BAtkinson_PI.

This article originally appeared on The Progress Index: The mentally ill family retains a high-profile civil rights attorney