The family of a 28-year-old Kenyan man who died after he was handcuffed and pinned to the floor by sheriff’s deputies and medical staff members has reached a settlement for Ksh.1.2 billion ($8.5 million).
A judge approved the out-of-court wrongful death settlement on Tuesday according to public records. Otieno’s death earlier this year was ruled a homicide by asphyxiation.
According to the New York Times, the lawyers for the family, Mark Krudys and Ben Crump, who also represent the families of Tyre Nichols and George Floyd, said in a joint statement that “the family is pleased that they were able to find a resolution outside of court in a manner that honours Irvo’s life.”
Surveillance video released by a prosecutor showed Otieno being pinned to the floor by multiple security officers at a Virginia state mental health facility in the moments leading up to his death.
The video showed Otieno, bound by his hands and feet, being forcibly taken into a room and dragged into an upright seated position on the floor with his back against a chair.
Ten minutes later, after Otieno had turned onto his side with three people holding him, his body jerked, and five more deputies and workers moved to pin him to the floor.
After 12 minutes of Otieno being pinned to the ground, one deputy could be seen shaking Otieno’s hair and attempting to take a neck pulse, but Otieno was unresponsive. Three more minutes passed before CPR began, with Otieno’s limbs still shackled.
“My son was treated like a dog, worse than a dog,” Otieno’s mother, Caroline Ouko, said at a news conference. “I saw it with my own eyes on the video.”