Family of Virginia man who died in police custody reaches wrongful death settlement

The family of Irvo Otieno, who died in March in police custody, has reached a wrongful death settlement. Photo courtesy of Ben Crump Law/Website

Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The family of a Virginia man who died in police custody while being admitted to the hospital in March has reached a confidential wrongful death settlement with Henrico county, the sheriff's office whose deputies were involved and the state.

The announcement was made Wednesday in a statement from the attorneys representing the family of Irvo Otieno in the matter, Ben Crump and co-counsel Mark Krudys.

"The family is pleased that they were able to find a resolution outside of court in a manner that honors Irvo's life," the attorneys said.

Otieno died March 6 while police were attempting to admit him to the Central State Hospital in Dinwiddie County, Va., for treatment. Video of the incident released late that same month shows sheriff's deputies and medial staff drag a handcuffed Otieno into a room at the medical facility before upwards of 10 people pile on top of him for more than 10 minutes as he died.

His death was ruled a homicide in early April, with the cause of death being "positional and mechanical asphyxia with restrains."

Though the amount was not released to the public, the family's attorneys said the settlement had been approved by a Virginia Circuit Court judge.

Macaulay Porter, spokeswoman for Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, told Law & Crime in a statement that the Republican hopes that the settlement might alleviate some of the suffering Otieno's family has incurred.

"Gov. Youngkin remains committed to transforming the behavioral health system to ensure that those in crisis will receive the care they need and that they will receive it at the right time and in the right place," Porter said.