The family of Irvo Otieno, a Kenyan man who tragically lost his life while in police custody in the United States, has recently received a substantial compensation of Ksh 1.2 billion. Irvo Otieno, a 28-year-old, passed away on March 6, 2023, after he was restrained with handcuffs and pinned to the ground by sheriff’s deputies and medical staff members.
According to public records, a judge approved this wrongful death settlement outside of court, and earlier this year, Otieno’s demise was officially declared a homicide due to asphyxiation.
A surveillance video, which was made public by a prosecutor, vividly depicted the distressing moments leading up to Otieno’s death. It showed him being held down on the floor by multiple security officers at a Virginia state mental health facility. In the footage, Otieno, with his hands and feet bound, was forcefully ushered into a room and placed in an upright seated position on the floor with his back against a chair.
Initially, all 10 defendants faced second-degree murder charges, but as the case progressed, charges against two of the hospital employees were eventually dropped. Otieno’s family emphasized that he had a longstanding history of mental health issues and was evidently struggling to breathe while being held down.
In a somewhat contentious development, the settlement agreement specifies that the state, county, and the sheriff involved in the incident have not admitted any liability and firmly deny that their actions led to Otieno’s untimely demise. Nevertheless, they have collectively agreed to provide the substantial compensation amount to Otieno’s grieving family.