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Newly-released video shows what happened to Irvo Otieno inside Henrico Jail

Posted at 5:42 PM, Mar 21, 2023

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Newly-released video from inside Henrico County Jail West showed Irvo Otieno in the moments leading up to his March 6, 2023 transfer to Central State Hospital where he died during the admissions process.

When Henrico County Sheriff's deputies entered Otieno's cell just before 2:30 p.m. to start the process to transport him, a deputy first spoke to Otieno through a tray slot on the door.

The video has no sound, but it showed Otieno through a window of the door to his cell at times.

Clink here to watch the newly-released video on the CBS 6 YouTube page.

That same deputy then handed Otieno a pair of pants through the slot that Otieno pushed back out.

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Otieno tried to pull the tray slot door closed and then pushes an orange food tray out.

It appeared deputies then tried to grab Otieno's hand through the tray slot to possibly put handcuffs on him.

Then it appeared a deputy shot pepper spray through the tray slot twice.

After that, it appeared six deputies rushed into the cell.

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The video then showed one deputy brace his arm on the wall, and he appeared to punch downwards multiple times.

A wheelchair with straps was then brought to the cell, but it was never used.

Otieno was then pulled and carried out of the cell. Video from the jail sallyport then showed Otieno carried by deputies to the passenger side of a white van.

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They then carry him to the back of the van where they appear to try to get him into the van for several minutes.

The deputies then carry Otieno to the backseat of an SUV and struggle for a minute to put him in the SUV feet first.

Deputies slammed the doors closed at 2:57 p.m.

The SUV left 13 minutes later, headed for Central State.

Earlier this month, CBS 6 asked Henrico Sheriff Alisa Gregory about her deputies' actions prior to the transport.

On March 8, she defended their actions.

"We have investigated everything up until the transport and there are no issues with any of their actions. They handled things properly and from my personal point of view, they went above and beyond," Gregory said.

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Henrico County Sheriff Alisa Gregory

CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit reached back out on Tuesday, March 21, to ask if she stood by her earlier comments in the wake of the video being released.

Gregory responded and said she could not comment due to the ongoing Virginia State Police investigation.

Before Otieno was taken to Henrico Jail West, Henrico Police Officers brought him to Parham Doctors Hospital under an Emergency Custody Order, and he was kept there until officers said he became "physically assaultive" so they charged him and took him to jail.

Hipolit filed a public records request for body camera footage from the Henrico Police Officers who responded to Otieno's home, took him to the hospital, and then charged him, but Henrico County declined to release the video.

A Henrico FOIA officer said some of the video is part of an ongoing criminal investigation, and some of it contains information of a personal and medical nature that would jeopardize the privacy of an individual. Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney Shannon Taylor said she is investigating Otieno's treatment at all Henrico locations.

Taylor released a new statement, which reads in part:

"My office is working diligently to do a thorough investigation, working to get numerous relevant videos, and talking to others involved. Our responsibility is to determine what happened in Henrico – were any laws broken and, if so, who is held accountable."

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for in-depth coverage of this important local story. Anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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