CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD/WSAV) – Three grieving families who have become household names visited the Lowcountry Thursday to support the family of Jamal Sutherland, a mentally ill man who died at the hands of Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center deputies while he was in custody.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump brought together several of his clients — the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Daunte Wright — to stand behind the family of Jamal Sutherland as they demand justice for Jamal ahead of his birthday.
“What the Sutherland family has endured for this past year is something that you would not wish on your worst enemy,” Crump said.
“Tomorrow, Jamal would’ve been 33 years old,” he continued. “It was this time last year that you all had to bury Jamal. On this day, the day before his birthday.”
Floyd and Wright were killed by officers in Minnesota, while Arbery was killed by vigilantes in Georgia. Their deaths sparked outrage across the country that resulted in demonstrations — and in some cases escalated into riots — as the country grappled with a racial reckoning.
“We going down fighting,” said Ahmaud Arbery’s father, Marcus. “We gonna get some justice for Jamal.”
After months of investigations, Solicitor Scarlett Wilson decided no charges would be brought against the deputies involved in Sutherland’s death.
His family used Thursday’s press conference to urge South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson to bring forth charges.
“There was no need in this world for anybody to receive what Jamal got. If Jamal was white, he would’ve been walked out of that cell and into a doctor’s office,” said Jamal Sutherland’s mother, Amy.
Crump said this is just the beginning of the fight for justice. Supporters of the Sutherland family are planning a rally at the U.S. Capitol.