Amendment VI - In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
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Madison, Wisc. – Video ">footage shows family members and attorneys being denied access to the two roommates of Tony Robinson, by a Madison police officer and a Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation agent after they were taken into police custody.
Robinson’s roommates Anthony and Javier Limon were not home at the time of the shooting. However, they were taken in for questioning by police and allegedly questioned for hours without an attorney present shortly after Robinson was shot and killed in their Madison home.
Attorney Everett Mitchell said that Anthony had called him from the station and informed him that he needed an attorney. Mitchell then drove to the police station and informed a Madison police officer that Anthony had called him and requested to see him, according to Buzzfeed News.
Mitchell said the two boys were questioned by investigators for “at least four or five hours.”
According to Buzzfeed:
After the shooting the two brothers were driven to the Central Station of the Madison Police Department in a police car and questioned for hours without an attorney, according to Craig Spaulding, who told BuzzFeed News that he is like a “surrogate dad” to the two boys.
Spaulding added that as they were being driven away, Anthony Limon yelled to him that he wanted a lawyer brought to the station.
“I said, ‘Don’t say a word, we’re going to get you an attorney, don’t say anything,’” Spaulding said. “Anthony said, ‘All right, all right, I’m OK. Get me an attorney.’
The video shows the police clearly attempting to deny legal counsel to the boys. They tell the group that the boys are free to go, and that they are aware of that, but that no one can go talk to them, as they didn't request an attorney.
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In the second video, an officer then attempts to tell the group that they informed Anthony that an attorney was available if he wanted one but that he was fine talking to the agents alone.
“Anthony just said, ‘I don’t need him back here. I’m good talking to [the investigator] by myself,’” the officer says.
The fact that police are going to such extremes to keep an attorney from representing someone should give clear warning as to the amount of respect law enforcement has for the Constitution.
When an attorney shows up to represent someone, after being requested by a person in custody, this is called due process. But when they're told they can't see the individual because they didn’t ask for an attorney or that "he changed his mind" and no longer wants one, you may just live in a police state.
The refusal by law enforcement to allow an attorney in for the questioning of these boys raises serious red flags about the veracity of this investigation itself.
Were these boys being pressured or coerced into making statements that can be used against their deceased friend to help exonerate the officer of killing him?
When law enforcement attempts to interfere with an attorney being present during questioning, rest assured they undoubtedly have something to hide.
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay's work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.