Two officers — including a U.S. Marshal — were indicted on felony murder charges Tuesday, more than five years after they were involved in the death of a Black college student who was shot 59 times, leaving him with 76 gunshot wounds.
Jamarion Rashad Robinson, a 26-year-old who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia months before his death, was being served a warrant at his girlfriend’s Georgia home for a previous altercation with police during which he allegedly pulled a gun on them and fled. His mother called police after he had been found putting gasoline into her house.
Eric A. Heinze was a U.S. Marshal. Marshal and assistant chief inspector with the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, and Kristopher L. Hutchens, a Clayton County officer who was part of the task force during the incident, were indicted on counts of felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, making false statements and violation of oath by a public officer.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, neither of the officers were in custody Tuesday night.
The case put a spotlight on the use of federal joint task forces under the Department of Justice and accountability for families. Robinson’s case involved a special fugitive taskforce that was led and staffed by U.S. Marshals. According to federal policy, officers present at Robinson’s shooting were not equipped with bodycams.
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Three minutes of gunfire was captured on cell phone footage from Aug. 5, 2016. The video was taken outside of the building. Officers can be heard giving commands to bring down a firearm in the footage.
11Alive reports that Robinson’s injuries were aggravated by being shot 59 times.
“Over 90 rounds were fired at my son, flash-bang grenades were thrown at him, landed on him burning him,” Robinson’s mother, Monteria Robinson, said at a news conference in June 2020. He was then shot two times more by someone who walked up and stood above him. The man was arrested and taken to the hospital.
Robinson’s family accused officers of excessive force. According to a 2018 lawsuit filed by his mother, law enforcement knew Robinson had a mental disorder and didn’t know how to respond in an emergency.
“I love him. He is my best friend. And I will not stop fighting. I won’t give up. After Tuesday’s indictment, Monteria Robinson told 11Alive that he would continue to be his voice.
Robinson was a college football player at Clark Atlanta University and Tuskegee University, and had no past convictions.
Contributing to The Associated Press