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Seven officers charged for death of mentally ill Kenyan in US

Seven officers in the United States were on Tuesday arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of a Kenyan.

28-year-old Irvo Otieno died while in police custody on March 6.

Otieno was being transferred to a hospital when he reportedly became combative during the admission process, state police said in a statement.

“Otieno was then restrained and later died,” the statement added.

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Irvo Otieno.

According to the police, paramedics were called to the scene at 4:30pm and tried to revive the patient but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

State records show the seven sheriff’s deputies are scheduled to appear before a grand jury on March 21 and they have been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the cases filed against them.

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Local media said that the seven officers are being held without bond.

The Henrico County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an independent review of the incident and said it is fully cooperating with another investigation by Virginia State Police.

“Public safety is what we stand for as a Sheriff’s Office. We will continue to maintain the highest professional standards in how we serve and protect those in our custody, the community at-large and our staff,” Henrico County Sheriff Alisa Gregory said in a statement.

Otieno had been arrested on March 3 in Henrico on charges of disorderly conduct at a hospital, destruction of property and three counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer for offences that day. 

He was held at Henrico Jail until he was transferred to Central State, a maximum-security psychiatric facility run by the state.

Also read: Kenyan in USA sentenced to life imprisonment for murder