Jamal Sutherland video – 'Horrific' bodycamera footage shows mentally ill black man's death in South Carolina jail

RECENTLY released bodycamera footage shows the "horrific" moments before a mentally ill black man died in a South Carolina jail.

The footage shows deputies repeatedly deploying stun guns before Jamal Sutherland, who suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, becomes unresponsive.


Sutherland died on January 5 at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center in North Charleston after the deputies stunned him while trying to remove him from his cell.

The deputies were reportedly trying to take Sutherland to a bond hearing for a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from a fight he got into at a behavioral health care clinic he had been staying at.

Video footage shows deputies asking him to come out from his cell for several minutes before one deputy uses a stun gun, and Sutherland falls to the ground.

The officers then order Sutherland to come to the door, and he tells them he can't stand.



Later on in the footage, an officer is seen kneeling on Sutherland's back as he attempts to handcuff him.

Sutherland's family is now calling for the involved deputies, who have not yet been publicly named, to be fired.

They are currently on administrative duty pending an investigation, according to ABC.

The bodycam footage was released on Thursday, and Sutherland's family held a press briefing calling for justice on Friday.

"Mental illness does not give anybody the right to put their hands on my child," Amy Sutherland, Jamal's mother, said at the briefing.

"That's my child. I love my child. His father and his brothers, they love Jamal.

"Jamal may have been mentally ill, but he was brilliant," she added.


James Sutherland, his father, said that the deputies involved "need to be let go."

"They don't need to be working in law enforcement," he said.

Based on an autopsy, Sutherland died from an "excited state with adverse pharmacotherapeutic effect during subdual process," according to Charleston County Coroner Bobbi Jo O'Neal.

The Department of Justice is now investigating the case.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg called the footage "horrific," and stressed the need for deescalation training for police officers.

"Jamal Sutherland deserved the mental health treatment that he sought," he said.

"What rationale could there be for the treatment that Jamal received? My mind can't find one.

"In the days ahead, we will come together as a community and we will address these important mental health and criminal justice issues."

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