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Solicitor Wilson Provides Update Regarding the Death of Jamal Sutherland

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The following was released today by the Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office:

“The Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, the South Carolina Law Enforcement  Division (SLED), and local law enforcement have agreed to follow the Officer Involved Critical Incident Policy located at https://www.scsolicitor9.org/files/OICI-Policy.pdf. Through this policy, I created self-imposed, aspirational goals for making prosecutorial decisions. At page 22, the policy states:

‘The Solicitor will complete a review of the investigation within 60 days of receipt of the completed investigative case file barring unusual circumstances that require additional time. If at any time during the process, the Solicitor believes further investigation is needed she will notify [SLED] and request the necessary investigative action be taken. If the Solicitor requires additional time to make a decision, she will make a public statement disclosing the need for an extension of time, and the reason for the extension, if appropriate.’

As promised, I am informing the community of the reasons it will take more time for a  prosecutorial decision. Previously, I notified the Sutherlands and the community that I found that an autopsy review by Dr. Kimberly Collins and consultation with a use of expert were critical in this matter. Both Dr. Collins and I found it necessary to retain and consult with a board certified  forensic toxicologist to aid Dr. Collins in her review. To that end, I retained Dr. Laura Labay, a board certified forensic toxicologist who holds both a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Toxicology. It is our understanding that the coroner has requested additional forensic testing which may bear on these complicated issues for both the first pathologist Dr. Downs and for Dr. Collins. In addition, within the last week, we obtained additional evidence and conducted additional interviews that are relevant to our use of force expert’s review.

Because these outstanding items are necessary for our experts’ reviews, and our experts’ opinions are critical in my analysis, I will not make a prosecutorial decision this week. Both the community and the Sutherland family deserve a thorough investigation and that is exactly what we are providing.”

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