The family of Irvo Otieno, a 28-year-old Kenyan who died while being restrained by seven police officers at a mental hospital in Virginia, USA, has reached a settlement worth Ksh1.2 billion (8.5 million USD) with the state.
Otieno, whose family said was mentally ill, was handcuffed and bound at the legs by seven detectives who held him down for about 11 minutes until he went silent.
The detectives ruled his death as a homicide.
According to the Washington Post, the prosecution in Virginia State had filed second-degree murder charges against the seven detectives and three workers at the hospital.
They, however, dropped all charges against two of the workers at the hospital.
According to the prosecution team, the eight remaining accused were to be held liable for Otieno's death.
The defense lawyer, on the other hand, argued that Otieno was combative and in a tense mood, leading the police to restrain him for his safety and those of the workers at the hospital.
The state county and sheriff's office did not admit liability in the settlement and denied their actions caused Otieno's death. They, however, agreed to pay the settlement fee.
His death led to a nationwide outrage over law enforcement's treatment of an African man in custody.
His death was also likened to the death of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis. Critics at the time pointed to failures in the way detectives handled mental patients.
Otieno's mother, Caroline Ouko said that she had rushed to get him medication on March 3, 2023, but found her son had been restrained by the officers on the bed and was booked to be taken to jail.
The authorities said that Otieno had become aggressive to the officers and was taken to Henrico County jail. Three days later, he was returned to Perham Doctors' Hospital on March 6, where he died.
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