CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson is elaborating on her investigation into the death of Jamal Sutherland, a mentally ill man who died while in custody at the Al Cannon Detention Center after an encounter with Charleston County deputies.
Wilson said that she understands why people are protesting at her doorstep. She agrees that Sutherland should never have died. However, her investigation cannot be influenced by outside factors.
Wilson said that for five months, she has been working on the case. She has been uncovering new details and deepening her understanding of what transpired that night.
Part of her investigation involves requesting a second autopsy on Sutherland, after the first pathologist’s report raised more questions than answers, in Wilson’s opinion.
Wilson hopes that regardless of the results of her investigation, systemic changes will be made:
“Jamal Sutherland is not the first person who was at the hands of untrained law enforcement, law enforcement who didn’t understand mental illness, who were forced to deal with someone who was sick, instead of having that person treated by a facility who could handle them. And if things don’t change, he won’t be the last.”
She said that she and other prosecutors across South Carolina have been pushing since 2017 for excessive force legislation.