A group mobilizes to file a complaint against the death of Jamal Sutherland
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The mother of a man who died in custody at the Charleston County Jail has joined a group that gathered Monday afternoon to demand criminal charges.
Jamal Sutherland died in Charleston County Jail in January.
Amy Sutherland, Jamal’s mother, spoke at the midday rally outside the Ninth Circuit prosecutor’s office, where the Racial Justice Network reiterated a request to lay criminal charges in connection with the man’s death 31 years old.
“I’m angry. Not everyone might be angry. I’m angry,” she said.
She claims the sheriff’s office lied about what happened in the minutes leading up to Sutherland’s death on the morning of January 5.
“At the time of its first entry into [jail], Jamal never received a phone call, ”she said. “None of the family knew where he was.”
She also alleged an attempt to cover up what happened when the family were initially told they could not see body camera footage of detained MPs forcibly removing Sutherland from his cell. It was during his deportation that he became unconscious and died.
“We were told we wouldn’t understand what was on the tape,” she said. “What was there not to understand? What was there not to understand when he died?
She said she had since watched the recording of the incident four times.
“But through it all, listen, through it all my son wasn’t thinking about his murder,” she said. “He was thinking of Jesus. He said, ‘Hallelujah.’ Jesus was always on my child’s mind. While you lied to him, Jesus came to get him.
Since then, two MPs who were working to remove him from his jail cell so he could attend a bail hearing have been fired from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.
But no criminal charges have been laid in this case.
SPECIAL SECTION: Jamal Sutherland passes away
Lawyer Scarlett Wilson said last month she was awaiting further information on an ongoing investigation to determine whether she believes criminal charges can be successfully prosecuted.
Wilson said she expects to have the information she needs to make her decision at the end of this month.
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