Two South Carolina Deputies Are Fired for Their Role in Death of Black Man in Jail. Mr. Sutherland had been taken to a mental health facility, Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health, BY HIS FAMILY!! but was arrested there on Jan. 4, the day before he died, after a fight broke out.
Workers at the mental health center told responding officers that Mr. Sutherland had assaulted a staff member. He and another patient were arrested on the charge of third-degree assault and battery, according to The Post and Courier of Charleston.
The deputies, Sgt. Lindsay Fickett and Detention Deputy Brian Houle, used pepper spray and Tasers on Jamal Sutherland on Jan. 5 at the detention center in Charleston County.
Two sheriff’s deputies in South Carolina were fired on Monday for their role in the death of a Black man on whom they used pepper spray and Tasers after he was taken to jail from a mental health facility in January.
The actions of the deputies while they tried to remove the man from a jail cell — shown in graphic video footage that was released last week by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office — touched off protests and prompted calls for changes to how people experiencing mental illness are treated while in custody.
The footage showed one of the deputies placing a knee on the back of the man, Jamal Sutherland, and Mr. Sutherland saying, “I can’t breathe,” which drew comparisons to last year’s killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Mr. Sutherland, 31, was declared dead soon after the Jan. 5 encounter.