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Local Leaders Release Statements on the Sutherland Settlement

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On Tuesday, May 25th, Charleston County Council approved a settlement in the amount of $10 million with the family of Jamal Sutherland (right) following his death while in custody at the Al Cannon Detention Center on January 5th. After the settlement announcement, several local leaders release statements, which you can read below:

  • Sutherland Family
  • Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano
    • Today I am grateful to learn the Charleston County Council has approved a  settlement with the family of Jamal Sutherland that will hopefully provide some measure of comfort in  the midst of their grief. I understand that the community and family have questions regarding the nature  of Mr. Sutherland’s death, and I am hopeful that my office’s participation and support of this resolution  will demonstrate my own continued resolve in trying to bring some peace to this family.As you know, the involved officers are no longer working with the Charleston County Sheriff’s  Office. We have fully cooperated with SLED and the Solicitor as they have separately investigated this  matter. To some degree, I have held back on public communications until I could be confident that they  would not damage the integrity of internal and external investigations. I am committed to ensuring that  justice can be obtained in this, and in all, matters.I have taken responsibility for this incident. This was a disastrous set of circumstances that led to  the unfortunate loss of Jamal Sutherland. More importantly, I have taken this opportunity to assess our  own practices and resources and to begin working on changes that could improve our services and support  our mission. I have strived, since my first day in office, to serve the community while continuing to provide  a safe environment, excellent law enforcement services and—always–to seek to promote mutual trust  and respect with our community.Our law enforcement community will continue to work to develop a model design that is  beneficial to treating mental illness with continuum of care, therefore having less negative impacts on our  community. I welcome the public’s input as we look for better solutions. Accordingly, if they so desire,  the Sutherland family shall have a seat at the table for those continued discussions.

      My actions, in supporting this settlement, are intended to ensure that this family will be supported  in the wake of this tragedy. Again, I offer my deepest sympathies to the family of Mr. Sutherland.”

  • North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey
    • “The County’s settlement resolves all potential claims against the County and any other governmental entity. I appreciate the County coming to fair terms with Jamal’s family, and hope this resolution brings the Sutherlands nearer to closure.”
  • Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor
    • “This has been a very difficult time for all of us in the Charleston community. Jamal’s death has led to understandable  grief and pain for his family and friends,” said Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor. “It is indeed my hope,  my prayer and sincere commitment that his unfortunate passing will lead us as a community and as elected leaders to  recognize and address the growing challenges facing those in our community who struggle with mental health. If allowed,  I believe that out of this tragedy can come positive change throughout Charleston County. We must address this  challenge both proactively and vigorously.While this settlement will not stop the continued hurt, we must begin to heal and have meaningful interactions that allow  space for necessary changes. We must not let tragedy lead to turmoil, distrust or worse. I have a deep abiding faith in the  people of this community, and I know that together we can move forward. We should honor Mr. Sutherland’s legacy by  acting with the kindness and gentleness so fondly remembered by those who loved him most.”
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