22-Year-Old Black Man Died In Custody Of Four White Lousiana Deputies
The death of a 22-year-old unarmed Louisiana man Thursday in police custody has been ruled a homicide.
According to NBC News reports:
Robinson was targeted by an undercover drug operation by police. He fled from officers in his car before crashing into two sheriff’s vehicles, then fleeing on foot, jumping several fences to escape before he was arrested with drugs on him, according to officials.
On Thursday, at the scene, Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said there was “no indication” deputies had choked Robinson, noting that the suspect had a history of asthma and that air quality was poor. “It appears to be probably asthma-related,” he said then.
But on Monday Jefferson Parish Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich said the post-mortem examination showed Robinson’s death was “caused by the actions of another.”
The damage to the soft tissues of his neck, he said, left him confident that the cause of death will be “compression asphyxia” when the autopsy process is completed. He said it was consistent with someone choking, grabbing or leaning on Robinson’s neck and classified the case as a homicide.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office put the four narcotics agents involved in the confrontation on desk duty and asked Louisiana State Police and the FBI civil rights task force to join his investigation of how drug suspect Keeven Robinson, 22, was killed Thursday.
“I understand this incident will be under a microscope,” Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said at a Monday news conference where the preliminary results of this weekend’s autopsy were announced.
An attorney for Robinson’s family, Hester Hilliard, said the autopsy result compounded their grief.
“They had to find out Keeven lost his life at the hands of another, and that’s very, very hard for them,” she said. “And now they have to move on to making funeral arrangements for this 22-year-old, who should not have died.”
A community march was planned for Monday evening as Robinson’s family said they believe excessive force was used to subdue him.
Lopinto said the four deputies were read their rights and gave statements. He said an investigation would determine if the use of deadly force on Robinson — who did not have a gun on his body but had one in his car — was justified.
This is just crazy that police continue to operate like this. Four white deputies against a 22-year-old? Insane.