Activists gathered at 4 p.m. Saturday on the corner of King and Calhoun streets downtown to continue a call for action after Jamal Sutherland, a Black man living with mental illness, died in police custody Jan. 5 at the Al Cannon Detention Center.
Black Lives Matter Charleston leader Marcus McDonald was on scene, playing trombone and leading chants to drum up support from passersby, both on foot and on the street in Saturday afternoon traffic.
Though the numbers had dwindled to about 10 by 5 p.m., those in attendance said it was an ideal time to be there. Spoleto crowds and Saturday throngs gave the activists the opportunity to make Sutherland’s name and story known to as many people as possible, they said.
In previous rallies and press conferences, Sutherland’s mother, Amy Sutherland said she would continue pushing until the officers at the scene of her son’s death were charged with murder.
Video released May 13 showed deputies attempting to take Sutherland to a virtual court appearance used pepper spray and a Taser on him before he became unresponsive and died.
Solicitor Scarlett Wilson has said she would likely have information needed to decide on whether charges would be brought by the end of this month. Both officers involved in Sutherland’s death were fired in May.