Two South Carolina deputies who were involved in an incident that resulted in the death of a Black man have been fired.
According to Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano, Sgt. Lindsay Fickett and Detention Deputy Brian Houle were involved in the in-custody death of Jamal Sutherland on Jan. 5 in which they repeatedly used a stun gun to subdue him.
“Today, I made the decision to terminate the two detention deputies involved in this case,” Graziano said in a statement Monday.
Sutherland, 31, was arrested after a fight at a psychiatric facility in North Charleston while seeking treatment. His family said he suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Graziano said Sutherland’s death was tragic and that her office is looking at ways to improve, including a focus on dealing with mental health issues.
Video of the incident shows the two deputies outside Sutherland’s cell trying to remove him for a court hearing. One of them appears to use a taser several times as Sutherland cries out for help on the floor. They also knelt on his back before he eventually stopped moving. An hour later, Sutherland was pronounced dead, according to officials at the Al Cannon Detention Center.
The Charleston County coroner’s office said Sutherland’s death resulted from an “excited state with adverse pharmacotherapeutic effect during subdual process,” according to a report by WCBD-TV.
Sutherland’s mother, Amy Sutherland, said in a press conference last week that “I want us to view this tape and I want us to learn what we don’t want happening here.” She went on to say that the family found out about his death four hours after it took place and they were never informed that he was transferred to jail.
DHEC is investigating the incident and what led up to Sutherland’s death.