South Carolina Black Activist Coalition call Sutherland death investigation delay ‘insanity’

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Local activists are calling on the Ninth Circuit Solicitor, Scarlett Wilson, to bring charges against two former Charleston County deputies involved in the death of Jamal Sutherland. Sutherland died in January while in custody at the Al Cannon Detention Center ahead of his bond hearing.

The South Carolina Black Activists Coalition held a peaceful press conference Thursday in front of the Solicitor’s office to voice their opposition in her recent delay of the Sutherland death investigation.

The group says they are tired of waiting for a decision to be made by the solicitor in charging the deputies involved in Sutherland’s death.

Sharea Washington, with the South Carolina Black Activists Coalition, says what they are calling for, is accountability, “if I can go to jail for a traffic ticket, surely somebody can go to jail for murder…We’re asking for you to hold accountable those who have done the wrong thing.”  

The coalition says what they have seen since January, is the absence of justice for too long. Marcus McDonald, the Leader of the Charleston Black Lives Matter and a member of the coalition says they will no longer allow the stalling of the case.

McDonald also says it’s past time for a decision as through the years—the community has seen the death investigation process be shortened to 24-48 hours.

The group calling for full transparency from Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson and the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. Even more, advocates say they want the Department of Justice to conduct a federal investigation into the solicitor’s office for what they allege is racial bias.

As some coalition members say the death investigation at this point is insanity. 

175 days ago, 25 weeks ago, 6 months ago, Jamal Sutherland died. 

Pastor thomas dixon

Adding to the anger, Solicitor Wilson extending a self-imposed deadline.

Pastor Dixon says, “this same solicitor could have been done on  January 6th. With no law saying that you have to wait on a SLED investigation, with no law saying that you have to have an autopsy report that says homicide on it.”

The Solicitor released a previous statement this week on a delay of the death investigation, making it unclear when her decision will be made in charging the two officers involved.

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