Amended death certificate classifies Jamal Sutherland death as homicide

Jamal Sutherland Death Investigation

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – An amended death certificate released Monday classifies the manner of Jamal Sutherland’s death at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center as a homicide, according to Sutherland family attorneys.

Attorney Mark Peper says the change comes from Charleston County Coroner Bobbi Jo O’Neal after receiving some tests result. He said the cause remains ‘excited state with pharmacotherapeutic effect during subdual process.’

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STATEMENT: “The Sutherland family has been informed by our elected Coroner, Bobbi Jo O’Neal, that following additional testing, she has determined that Jamal’s manner of death is best deemed to be Homicide. As a result, an Amended Death Certificate dated June 8, 2021 has been issued. The family reached this same conclusion immediately upon seeing the video of his death, thus they are pleased with the amended finding and remain steadfast in their pursuit of justice for Jamal.”

Sutherland, who was a patient at Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health at the time, died in January after being arrested during a violent episode at the facility.

He was booked into the detention center, where he died after deputies tased and pepper sprayed him while extracting him from his jail cell.


A previous coroner’s report listed the cause of death as undetermined, but Ninth Circuit Solicitor called for a second opinion, hoping experts could “shed more light on [Sutherland’s] death and the circumstances surrounding it, to include potential culpability of those in law enforcement.”

Wilson anticipated her investigation being over sometime in June.

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