Ben Crump reveals funeral details for Irvo Otieno and plans to deliver a national call for justice


Earlier today (March 28), attorney Ben Crump revealed on Twitter that he would deliver a national call for justice tomorrow (March 29) at the funeral of 28-year-old Irvo Otieno.

At Otieno’s family’s request, Reverend Al Sharpton will provide the eulogy at the First Baptist Church of South Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. The news comes days after Crump called on the public to sign a petition for additional mental health training to be administered within law enforcement.

“Irvo Otieno didn’t deserve to be smothered to death when he needed help with a mental health crisis!” Crump captioned his Twitter post. “He isn’t the first and likely won’t be the last person with mental illness to be brutally victimized by police. Call for more mental health training for law enforcement officers.”

As previously reported, Otieno passed away on March 6 after he was pinned on the ground for 12 minutes by several Virginia deputies and hospital staff employees. He arrived at Central State Hospital, a mental health facility, by way of officers for intake. He was initially at Henrico County jail after authorities alleged he was aggressive toward them and charged him after they took him into emergency custody on March 3. 

A state prosecutor released surveillance footage of the incident after Otieno’s family consented. It showed that the Kenyan native was shackled at his hands and feet and dragged by authorities. Following a sudden movement, officers piled on top of Otieno with at least one reportedly putting their knee in his back. 

Otieno laid motionless as a deputy checked his pulse. With no response, law enforcement and hospital workers waited several minutes before they performed CPR on the 28-year-old. Ann Cabell Baskervill, the Dinwiddie County prosecutor, has since charged seven sheriff’s deputies and three hospital staff employees with second-degree murder.

After watching the video, Otieno’s mother, Caroline Ouko, spoke at a news conference and said, “My son was treated like a dog, worse than a dog. I saw it with my own eyes on the video.”

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