BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As the investigation into Anthony Mitchell’s death continues, Attorney General Steve Marshall talked with CBS 42 about the case and the video that is raising concerns in the community.
Marshall says his office is not involved in this case, as it’s currently being investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation and the FBI. If there are facts and laws that require the attorney general’s office to take action, Marshall said he will be prepared to do so.
“They’ll handle this professionally and they’ll do their job,” Marshall said.
Attorney General Steve Marshall said the investigation into Anthony Mitchell’s death will be treated like any other investigation.
“The FBI has a different set of laws that deal with civil rights violations. They are uniquely equipped in that area. Very different than what we have under current Alabama law to be able to evaluate it from that perspective,” Marshall said. “So, both SBI and FBI have their own unique roles.”
Mitchell died on January 26 after being in the care of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office for over 10 days.
A video shared by corrections officer Karen Kelly shows Mitchell being carried by sheriff’s employees and placed into a patrol unit. Marshall watched the video for the first time in CBS 42’s studio and reacted to the footage.
“I think what we’re seeing is simply a snapshot of what the circumstances were proceeding this and one of the things investigators will be looking at, is to determine why he was in this condition and what steps those that were involved in supervising his custody took to try to deal with his health,” Marshall said.
The video has sparked outrage online, as it appears to contradict a statement from the sheriff’s office about Mitchell’s death which said Mitchell was “alert and conscious” when he left the jail. A wrongful death lawsuit, filed by Mitchell’s family, claims Mitchell froze to death.
The suit references medical notes that said his body temperature was 72 degrees when he arrived at the hospital.
Marshall said those allegations will be reviewed thoroughly by both the FBI and SBI.
“If it’s true, very relevant to what investigators will look at in determining what the big picture is here. This is more than a discreet video in a discreet moment but this gentleman, as I understand, had been in custody for over 10 days and they’ll look at the circumstances of that confinement and determine what took place,” Marshall said.
The investigation is still in the early stages. A protest is planned on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Walker County Courthouse in Jasper.