South Carolina Black Activist Coalition gathers to call for justice and accountability

Jamal Sutherland Death Investigation

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Lowcountry activists took to Court House Square on Friday demanding justice for Jamal Sutherland who died at the Al Cannon Detention Center. The South Carolina Black Activist Coalition rallied in downtown Charleston to voice that they want to see the Charleston County deputies involved in Sutherland’s death charged.

The protest was set to last a total of five hours but wrapped up after a little under two, yet their calls up to the Solicitors Office echoed throughout downtown.

While Sheriff Kristin Graziano with Charleston County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) announced the two deputies involved — Seargeant Lindsey Fickett and Detention Deputy Brian Houle — have been terminated, the two have yet to be charged.

Marcus McDonald with Charleston Black Lives Matter stated he specifically wants former Sgt. Fickett to be held accountable. 

McDonald said, “if you’ve seen some of the prior lawsuits she’s had before, she’s been known to have her taser set at the maximum voltage….we believe there’s some premeditated thought into it and she even said she has to tase everybody the same so there’s not an indifference of justice. We’ve just seen her have such gross comments in the way she’s treated inmates with mental disabilities. Especially her but everybody gets charged.” 

The coalition said that Solicitor Wilson has taken too long to decide whether or not to bring charges against the two former detention officers and expect nothing less than a manslaughter charge to be issued.

Even more, the group has called on the State Law Enforcement Divison (SLED) for “taking their time in the investigation.”

McDonald, went on to quote Malcolm X, “if you’re not ready to clean your house—you don’t deserve to have a house, it deserves to be burned down.” He added that’s why they are demanding that SLED gets an independent investigation as, “they been playing around and like I said, we have no time for games.”

According to Solicitor Wilson, SLED’s report was not provided in a timely manner. The Solicitor went on to add that she is now awaiting the results from a second pathologist to better understand the cause of death for Jamal Sutherland.

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