Community activists call for transparency amid investigation over Charleston County inmate death

Charleston County News

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Community activists are calling on the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office for more transparency following the January 5th death of Jamal Sutherland while in custody at the Al Cannon Detention Center.

Sutherland was being extracted from his cell for a bond hearing when he became unresponsive. Now, community leaders say more precautions should be taken due to Sutherland suffering from mental health issues.

Leaders from the Racial Justice Network are demanding all footage of Sutherland’s death be released to civil rights leaders to provide them the opportunity to review the footage.

They also want to know why Sutherland was taken to jail rather than a mental health facility. Community leaders say there must be more transparency in local law enforcement – something they say was promised to them by the 9th Circuit Solicitor.

“All through this country, all through America, that is what Black folks are demanding – transparency. The next day or two, three days later. And we are demanding it here right now – no more thirty days, forty-five days,” said Elder James Johnson with the Racial Justice Network.

Deputies involved in the death were placed on administrative leave and then reassigned to administrative duties according to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office policy.

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