From [HERE] The Atlanta-area district attorney claims in court that the Department of Justice has refused to hand over records about members of a federal task force who fatally shot a black college student-athlete at least 59 times.
Jamarion Robinson, a 26-year-old college student and football player at Clark Atlanta University, was shot and killed by a team of local and federal officers who broke down the door to his girlfriend’s apartment at the Parkside Camp Creek Luxury Apartments in Atlanta on Aug. 5, 2016, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Atlanta federal court by the office of Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard. Howard is Black.
With the exception of a traffic violation, Mr. Robinson had no criminal record.
COVER UP. The District Attorney’s Office says it has repeatedly attempted to work with the DOJ to obtain the personnel files and training materials of the officers responsible for Robinson’s death, all to no avail. The court filing states, “the DOJ has steadfastly refused to produce records related to this homicide.“ The “DOJ has denied the requests of the Office of Fulton County District Attorney—the one office responsible for the investigation and prosecution of state crimes committed in Fulton County.”
“It has now been 875 days since the officers killed Mr. Robinson, and the DOJ has yet to provide any of the documents or evidence requested and has failed to provide any investigative reports relating to Mr. Robinson’s death,” the complaint states.
Faced with repeated opposition, the DA had to submit a FOIA request for records.
The Office of Fulton County is asking a federal judge to force the DOJ to comply with his requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
MURDER. According to the complaint, a federal task force comprised of 14 officers from eight local municipal police departments and at least one U.S. marshal went to the apartment to execute a Georgia arrest warrant based on allegations that Robinson committed an aggravated assault under GA law.
According to the filing the officers failed to secure a search warrant or seek consent from the third-party tenant to enter the apartment unit where officers believed Mr. Robinson to be located. Although the officers conducted over two hours of surveillance at the apartment complex, giving them ample time to secure lawful entry, the officers failed to obtain a search warrant or to gain consent to enter the apartment.
It also explains, before entering the apartment, the officers also failed to positively determine that Mr. Robinson was inside. The officers did not enlist the help of the third-party tenant who was present inside the apartment within hours of the shooting and who left the apartment in full view of the officers while they were conducting surveillance. The officers failed to engage or communicate with the third-party tenant to gain consent to enter, to determine whether Mr. Robinson was indeed inside the apartment, to determine the mental state of Mr. Robinson, or to gain assistance in negotiating Mr. Robinson’s peaceful surrender. It further states,
“There is also no indication that there were exigent circumstances that would have permitted the officers to enter the apartment without consent or a search warrant. There was no evidence at the time that Mr. Robinson had a weapon or that he presented any threat to the officers from his location inside the apartment.“
Except for a traffic violation, Robinson’s record was clean, the DA says.
Without any indication that Robinson had a weapon or presented a threat to the officers, the task force knocked the apartment door down and immediately fired 51 shots from outside into the apartment, the lawsuit states. It says, cops shot “into the apartment without any known provocation and with reckless disregard for the safety of anyone else in the apartment and surrounding apartment units.”
According to the complaint, the officers then entered the apartment and fired 41 more shots from various weapons “including a 9mm submachine gun, a .40mm submachine gun, and a .40 Glock pistol.”
More than 90 rounds were fired into the apartment, DA Howard claims.
“The medical examiner recorded over 59 entry wounds into Mr. Robinson’s body. Without the documents requested, described herein, there is a question as to whether Mr. Robinson’s killing was justified,” the complaint states.
COPS LIED. At the conclusion of the shooting, a firearm was located, which the officers claimed that Mr. Robinson fired at them three times. However, when the firearm was recovered, it was damaged and inoperable.
Moreover, in an investigative report completed by Officer Steve Schreckengost, he did not state that the officers entered the premises because Mr. Robinson was shooting. Rather, Officer Schreckengost claims they entered to protect others inside the apartment from Mr. Robinson, although it was clear from their surveillance no one else was in the apartment.
A January 2018 federal lawsuit filed by Robinson’s mother, Monteria Robinson, against police officers and detectives involved with the task force alleges that her son posed “no immediate threat” to the officers “or anyone else” at the time of the shooting.
The DA’s office seeks an order enjoining the DOJ from continuing to withhold non-exempt records responsive to the FOIA request and compelling the agency to search for and provide the relevant records.