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Charleston County

  • Jamal Sutherland's family, a newly elected sheriff and the solicitor weigh in on a need for change following a decision not file charges against two detention officers.
  • A South Carolina prosecutor has decided not to charge two jail employees who stunned a mentally ill Black man 10 times and kneeled on his back until he stopped breathing. Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said Monday that the Charleston County jail guards in January were following their aggressive training in handling inmates, so she could not prove the guards intended to kill 31-year-old Jamal Sutherland. He had been recently booked on a misdemeanor and was refusing to go to his bond hearing. Charleston County earlier this year agreed to pay a $10 million settlement to Sutherland's family. Federal officials are investigating the death to see if Sutherland's civil rights were violated.
  • The family of a mentally ill Black man who died behind bars after being restrained by white deputies took to the streets of Charleston Wednesday afternoon, less than a day after they were awarded $10 million as part of a civil settlement.Lawmakers, community activists and protesters surrounded Amy Sutherland as she demanded justice for her son, Jamal, in front of the solicitor’s office downtown.“They must punish,” Amy Sutherland said. “They must punish for what they did to my baby.”
  • A South Carolina county has agreed to pay $10 million to the family of a man with mental health issues who died in jail in January. The Charleston County Council voted Tuesday evening to approve the settlement to Jamal Sutherland's family. Video released by Charleston County officials this month shows deputies repeatedly deployed stun guns and knelt on Jamal Sutherland's back before he stopped moving. Officials say that an hour later, Sutherland was pronounced dead. The prosecutor looking into the case has said she is consulting external experts before deciding whether to pursue criminal charges. Two deputies involved in the case have been fired.