African-American Fatally Crushed by Police and Hospital Workers in the United States


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In the United States, an African-American, Irvo Otieno, died crushed under the weight of police and caregivers on March 6, 2023. The young man suffered from mental illness. The harrowing video showing his death was broadcast on Tuesday by several American media.

The video, filmed by a surveillance camera, shows the arrival of Irvo Otieno at the hospital in Petersburg, Virginia, after three days in a cell. He is handcuffed, bare-chested, without shoes, his ankles shackled. Several police officers and caregivers, mostly African Americans, tackle the 28-year-old young man to the ground. They are at the beginning three then a dozen to press on different parts of his body – they seem to want to immobilize him. After 11 minutes, when they release the pressure, Irvo Otieno is not breathing.

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Questions about the treatment of people with mental illnesses

The video had been shown to the family, who wanted it to be broadcast. ” They treated him like a dog, worse than a dog “, had said last Thursday the mother of Irvo Otieno during a press conference. The family lawyer drew a parallel with the murder of George Floyd, an African-American, who died of suffocation in 2020 by a white Minneapolis policeman.

The death of Irvo Otieno has reignited the debate about how law enforcement in the United States treats people with mental illness. Last week, seven Henrico County police officers and three Central State Hospital officers were charged with murder. Local prosecutor Ann Cabell Baskervill said the 28-year-old was dead. by asphyxiation “, while he “ was physically restrained “, without giving more details.

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