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Two South Carolina deputies fired after man shocked in jail dies

Jamal Sutherland, who is Black, died in January after he was pepper-sprayed and electroshocked with a Taser in his jail cell.

Two South Carolina deputies who were involved in a January incident in which a Black man died after being pepper-sprayed and shocked with a Taser have been fired.

"Today, I made the decision to terminate the two detention deputies involved in this case," Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano said in a statement Monday.

Sgt. Lindsay Fickett and Detention Deputy Brian Houle were involved in the in-custody death of Jamal Sutherland, 31, Graziano said.

Sutherland was arrested Jan. 4 after a "large scale fight" at a psychiatric facility where he was being treated, North Charleston's mayor has said.

At the jail the next morning, sheriff's deputies tried to remove him from his cell for a bond hearing.

Video shows two deputies outside Sutherland's cell. One deploys a Taser and appears to use it repeatedly as Sutherland cries out in pain and writhes on the floor.

"I must weigh the interest of public safety for the community against any incident that creates even the perception of an impairment to the operation of the Detention Center for the safety of all residents, staff and our Community," Graziano said.

Fickett had been employed by the sheriff's office for 10 years, and Houle worked there for almost five years, the sheriff's office said.

Attempts to find phone numbers for Fickett and Houle were not immediately successful Monday night.

The county coroner's office said an autopsy showed the cause of death as "excited state with adverse pharmacotherapeutic effect during subdual process," NBC affiliate WCBD of Charleston has reported.

Graziano has said that Sutherland's death was a tragedy and that her office is looking at ways to improve, including a focus on mental health issues.

Sutherland's mother, Amy Sutherland, said last week that "I want us to view this tape and I want us to learn what we don't want happening here."