Lawmakers holding emergency meeting in response to death of Jamal Sutherland

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Lawmakers will hold an emergency meeting in response to the release of the video in the death of Jamal Sutherland while in the Al Cannon Detention Center.

Lawmakers are describing the death of Sutherland as a crisis that must be addressed with a sense of urgency.

Representatives Wendall Gilliard and JA Moore, have called this meeting along with leadership from the South Carolina Democratic Caucus and the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. at North Charleston City Hall Wednesday, May 19.

The meeting was called in response to the release of the video death of Sutherland and lawmakers say they will review that video again during the meeting.

In video, officers are seen tasing, handcuffing and dragging Sutherland out of his cell just moments before he died on January 5th.

Representative Gilliard says everyone has a right to life.

“No matter who you are in the state of South Carolina, no matter where you are, which group you belong to, what race, ethnicity, sexual orientation. Whatever the case, you are a human being and you have a right to life,” said Rep. Wendell Gilliard.

On Monday as local activists marched and called for justice, Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano fired the two deputies that were involved for what she calls interest in the public safety.

Representative Moore says he believes there is no excuse for the treatment Sutherland received. “That’s not how you treat mental health and so just listening to her and allowing that to drive the agenda, we immediately went to legal counsel at the state house and then I just told Jamal’s story,” said Representative JA Moore.

Now, the 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson says she is seeking a second opinion in Sutherland’s death.

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