by Gloria Tatum……………………………………………
Jamarion Robinson, a 26-year-old African American man, was a student at Tuskegee University majoring in Biology.
He did not have a criminal history.
On August 5, 2016, Robinson was killed in one of the most gruesome, bloody, violent, overkill by police probably in the history of this country.
It is also the most under-reported story with still no law enforcement offices arrested four years later.
Robinson was killed when 17 officers of a Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force (SERFTF) that included officers from the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, Clayton County, Fayette County, East Point, and led by the United States Marshal Service forcibly broke the door open of Robinson’s girlfriends’ East Point apartment to serve a warrant for his arrest.
Police shot 90 rounds with 76 bullets hitting his body, shattering his bones, and tearing his hands.
“I am angry. I have to wake up with this every day and it has been four years and I’m tired and I have had enough,” Monteria said at a rally for Justice for Jamarion.
A few days before his death, the police were called to a Northwest apartment complex because a Black male allegedly would not allow a woman to leave the laundry room. The police came and said the man pointed a gun at them, they fired and the man ran off.
It was later changed to he would not allow her to enter the laundry room.
In discovery, a different story emerges with different dates and a different storyline.
On July 27, 2016, two Atlanta Police Department officers were dispatched to 500 Northside Circle to investigate a suspicious male who possibly robbed somebody at gunpoint the day before. The 911 caller said the person in the area today matched the description of a person who robbed somebody the day before.
When the police arrived they noticed a Black male running through the parking lot. Officer Severan told the subject to “stop” and pulled his baton. The subject replied “what for” and pulled a pistol and pointed it at Officer Severan. Officer Severan and Officer Reddick both fired at the subject who ran into the woods and was not seen again.
The two versions have inconsistencies and were written by different officers.
The story and the dates changed from a Black male not letting a woman out of the laundry room to officers looking for a Black male who robbed someone at gunpoint weeks before the alleged laundry incident.
If Robinson was guilty of anything it was not taking his medicine for schizophrenia. This was a man that needed a mental health crisis team but what he got was the police who brutally murdered him.
Being Black and mentally ill is not a crime and should not be a death sentence.
It is daily videos of police killing unarmed, innocent, and/or mentally ill people of color that have given rise to nationwide protests demanding police reform. The militarization of police forces makes them look and act like soldiers at war and people of color are too often treated as the enemy.
AN EXPERT IS HIRED
Monteria Robinson, Jamarion’s mother, hired an expert to review the evidence and hundreds of documents as they related to the death of her son.
She hired Roy Bedard who is a professional law enforcement and corrections trainer, expert witness in civil and criminal cases, and an expert in police use of force.
The descriptions below regarding what happened on August 5, 2016, are summaries taken from Bedard’s report.
HOW THE POLICE ATTACK ON ROBINSON WENT DOWN
The APD Fugitive Unit had two counts of aggravated assault against Robinson for allegedly pointing a gun at two police officers in an altercation on the Northwest side of Atlanta a few days earlier.
The police were informed by his mother that Robinson suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was off his medication. The police should have taken this into consideration that he may not be capable of following instructions or complying with their orders because of his mental health crisis. They should have made arrangements for his safety during the arrest
On August 5, 2016 members of the SERFTF met with members of the APD to serve a “knock and announce” arrest warrant on Robinson.
Taskforce members took up positions around the perimeter of the two-story, multifamily apartment complex at 3129 Candlewood Drive in East Point, Georgia. Other officers lined up along the doorframe, according to Bedard’s report.
TFO Hutchins knocked on the door and ordered Robinson to open the door and surrender. Robinson looked out the window of the second floor apartment and a perimeter officer notified the arrest team. Task Force Officer (TFO) William Sauls was given the order to ram the door open while officers stood outside.
After the door was forced open, Robinson was observed standing at the top of the staircase with something in his hand. TFO Heinz yelled, “he has a gun” and “drop the gun and come down the stairs.”
None of the officers were inside the apartment and were not trapped inside where it might have been necessary to fire in self-defense.
When Robinson did not respond to Heinz’s orders probably because he was suffering from a mental health breakdown. Heinz and Doyle fired, hitting Robinson in the chest several times.
Robinson stepped back behind a wall next to the second-story landing, then reappeared again. For three minutes task force members Heinz, Doyle, and Hutchens continuously fired at Robinson with semi-automatic and sub-machine guns. He moved behind the wall again.
Robinson appeared a third time after being shot dozens of times and this time allegedly fired back at the officers, according to a police report. But no evidence was later found of Robinson shooting at the officers.
According to a forensic examination of Robinson’s body it would have been impossible for Robinson to fire at the police when he allegedly appeared a third time after having his entire body riddled with bullets, his hands almost shot off and the bones in his leg shattered.
“My son was shot six times in his right hand, five times in his left hand and all down his arms, his torso, his groan, his thighs, his legs, his feet,” Monteria said
As Robinson lay mortally wounded, Hutchens threw a flashbang at Robinson then he used a “throw-bot” or robot to make sure Robinson was not a threat.
The flashbang was unnecessary and another example of extreme use of force by police, especially since Robinson was either dead or dying.
After the flashbang, someone stood over Robinson’s body and shot down because bullets were found in the wood floor under his body. The two bullets of 9mm or .40 caliber were lodged in the second-floor landing with a downward trajectory with bloodstains around the holes that were left in the carpet.
All the officers said that there were no shots fired after the flashbang. But on a video/audio recording filmed by a witness, a flashbang explosion can be heard followed by several more gunshots.
TFO Sauls grabbed Robinson by his ankle and dragged him down the staircase to the bottom floor where they handcuffed him and he died on the scene.
A total of seventy-six gunshot wounds were noted by the medical examiner to have come from three separate weapons including a Glock 40 caliber pistol, an H&K 9mm sub-machine gun, and an H&K .40 caliber sub-machine gun.
The three officers that shot Robinson were Eric Heinz, U.S. Marshall Service; Daniel Doyle, Fulton County Detective; and Kristopher Hutchens, Clayton County Police Officer.
“After shooting and killing my son, they showed my mother and two brothers a photo of the person they were looking for and it was not even my son,” Monteria said at a Justice for Jamarion rally.
“After that, they dropped the false narrative to the media. They said my son had a shootout with the police. There is no evidence of that,” Monteria said.
None of the officers were found criminally or administratively at fault for improper use of force.
OTHER OPTIONS WERE NOT CONSIDERED
None of the officers were trapped inside the apartment, where it might have been necessary to fire in self-defense. They could have stepped away from the door entrance and closed the door and Robinson would have been trapped inside the apartment and prevented the confrontation that resulted in his death. They could have treated the situation as a barricaded suspect and activated protocols to balance the odds towards a safe extraction, according to Bedard’s report.
Nor did they consider the safety of other residents in the building before shooting into the apartment. Several bullets penetrated the wall and went into the apartment next door fortunately no one was at home.
The police did nothing to calm or de-escalate the situation, in fact, it was escalated with a full-on deadly force slaughter of Robinson suffering from a mental health crisis.
Atlanta, Fulton County, and the State of Georgia should have a mental health crisis intervention team and/or a professional psychological negotiation team to calm and deescalate a situation dealing with mental illness.
For the police to arrive like an army going to war would terrify anyone and especially someone in a mental health crisis who is confused and not dealing with reality. Sending the police to this type of situation only makes it worse with death being the outcome.
Officers alleged that Robinson was a threat to their lives and claimed that Robinson fired a .380 semi-automatic gun at them.
However, forensic evidence shows that a .380 round was discharged into the bedroom behind Robinson and not in the direction of the officers. There is no evidence that Robinson ever fired a gun at the police officers. If he had fired a gun at the officers, the bullets would have struck on the lower landing in front of him but none were found and no officer was shot.
These inconsistencies are disturbing and raise questions about the entire episode as described by the officers who feared for their lives and used deadly force to arrest a man in a mental health crisis.
None of the TFO’s were wearing body cameras which would have cleared up confusion about Robinson being a threat and the police’s extensive “use of force” response.
The police claim that Robinson kept disappearing and reappearing from behind a wall.
But forensic evidence of his body shows his legs, arms, and hands were riddled with bullets, his bones were shattered making it impossible for him to stand or hold a gun much less move from location to location after the police started shooting him.
THE FAMILY DEMANDS JUSTICE FOR JAMARION
“Paul Howard talked about your son Monteria several times at a political forum. He said if it was not for COVID-19 he would have already presented this to the Grand Jury. So what the hell happened before Covid-19? He had 4 years to present it to the Grand Jury and he didn’t. Know that this is deeper than just Jamarion Robinson this is about the systemic devaluation of Black lives,” Marcus Coleman, of Save Our Sons, said at a Justice for Jamarion rally.
“Paul Howard said he could not arrest the officers involved in Jamarion’s death because they were protected by the federal government. But that’s a lie because, on June 8, I produced a document that stated that they were not federal employees,” Monteria said.
“Paul Howard has been dragging his feet for some time and me and my family are tired and we want justice. It has been 4 years and now everyone can see that Atlanta is not the great city that [Mayor] Keisha Lance Bottoms stated on the news,” Monteria said.
“My family demands the immediate arrest of the officers involved in my son’s execution and indicted and convicted,” Monteria said.