Atlanta, GA — The family of a 26-year-old Atlanta man who was killed after police shot him 76 times has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the officers involved.
In August of 2016, police broke down the door of Jamarion Robinson’s girlfriend’s home in Parkside Camp Creek Luxury Apartments and began spraying the interior of the apartment with bullets. Robinson was killed by multiple police task force officers from several different departments, including the U.S. Marshal Service.
On that fateful day in August, police were serving a warrant for Robinson’s arrest. Police claimed that during a previous confrontation, Robinson had fired a gun at officers. However, members of a local civil rights organization explained at a press conference on Wednesday that they didn’t know why police were looking for Robinson.
“At the time of the shooting, Jamarion Robinson presented no threat to the defendant officers or anyone else,” according to the lawsuit, filed in federal court.
The lawsuit claims that Robinson had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and that the responding officers were never trained in dealing with the mentally ill.
As the AJC reports:
The complaint accuses officers of knocking at the apartment door, but then immediately breaking the door down and “spraying” the interior with 9 mm and .40 mm submachine guns and .40 mm Glock pistols.
It also accuses the U.S. Marshals involved with the task force of tampering with evidence by handcuffing Robinson at the apartment, after he was dead from his gunshot wounds, and throwing a flash grenade into the apartment.
The lawsuit was filed against eight named law enforcement officers from a number of different law enforcement agencies, as well as 11 unidentified officers. It alleges that the officers used excessive force, manipulated evidence falsified reports.
According to the lawsuit, somewhere between 59 and 76 bullets or more were found to enter the body of Robinson, killing him. The officers involved were named in the suit and are from the Atlanta Police, East Point Police, Fulton County Police, Clayton County Fire and Police departments, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service.
“I want to know why 76 bullets entered my son’s body,” said Monteria Robinson, the victim’s mother.
The lawsuit claims the officers “conspired among and between themselves to unreasonably stop, seize, shoot and injure Jamarion Robinson in violation of his Constitutional rights, to destroy and fabricate evidence, to complete false, inaccurate and misleading reports, and to make false statements to superior officers in order to conceal their wrongdoing.”
On Thursday, Fulton County District Attorney, Paul Howard said his office will file the lawsuit Friday against the Department of Justice. Howard’s office accused the department of failing to provide information related to the shooting which was requested through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Andrew Stroth, the civil rights attorney representing Robinson’s family backs up the claims made by the DA, noting that the officers likely have video evidence of what transpired in the apartment that day.
“Clearly people have video and other evidence relevant to the case and all the family is seeking is the truth,” said Stroth.
Robinson’s shooting is similar to a shooting TFTP reported on that came at the end of a November 12, 2012 high-speed chase involving more than 100 officers and 62 police vehicles to go after Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. The pursuit began when officers standing outside police headquarters mistook the sound of Russell’s backfiring Chevy Malibu for gunfire. When the car stopped outside city limits, officers opened fire — dumping more than 130 rounds into the couple — perforating Russell with 24 shots and Williams with 23.
The shooting lasted 19.3 seconds. For anyone who’s ever been to a shooting range or is familiar with firing weapons, 19.3 seconds would seem like an eternity as all those rounds were flying down range. To discount the malicious intent of these officers continuing to fire after the first few seconds is outright criminal.
Neither of the victims were armed, or suspected of anything more serious than traffic violations resulting from the pursuit.
In that case, all of the officers involved were reinstated.