Monday, 23 July, 2018

Coroner: Suspect who died after police battle asphyxiated

Autopsy reveals black man, 22, who died after a struggle with police was suffocated Top News: Coroner: Suspect who died after police battle asphyxiated
Ellis Copeland | 16 May, 2018, 02:15

And on Monday, the Jefferson Parish coroner said an autopsy confirmed that the death of Robinson, a 22-year-old black man, was a homicide.

Monday, the coroner ruled his death a homicide and hundreds of protesters took to the streets.

Undercover detectives assigned to the case tracked Robinson down at a local gas station and tried to arrest him, Rivarde said, but Robinson jumped in his vehicle and led police on a chase after spotting them. The initial coroner's finding does not force legal action, but Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said he had moved four detectives to desk duty and had each man formally Mirandized and interviewed with Louisiana State Police representatives present.

Keeven Robinson, 22, died on Thursday in Gretna, Louisiana, following a struggle with four deputies who'd been tracking him as part of a drug investigation. She said the organization was supporting Robinson's family and keeping an eye on the case.

Sheriff Joe Lopinto said four deputies involved in the arrest have been read their rights and are cooperating in an investigation that also involves state police and the FBI.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office does not use bodycams or dashcams.

"That said, I don't want to delay disclosure regarding the direction in which we're heading from Mr. Robinson's family, the sheriff's department or the media", Cvitanovich said.

On Monday a coroner revealed that a preliminary autopsy indicated the cause of death was asphyxiation, and there was evidence of traumatic neck injuries.

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'Today is just as hard as Thursday for this family, ' the family's attorney Hester Hilliard told NOLA.com.

Robinson was taken into custody by police from New Orleans' Jefferson's Parish on suspicion he was selling drugs.

He said Louisiana State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and his office will continue to investigate.

Lopinto wouldn't say if the officers used a chokehold on Robinson, but did comment that they're not prohibited from using such force.

"There's no doubt they used force", Lopinto said. Robinson reportedly tried to get away in his vehicle, but crashed. They administered life saving techniques to the Robinson, but to no avail. The sudden, tire-squealing approach of non-uniformed men with guns can be hard to distinguish from a robbery or carjacking attempting, and numerous high-profile incidents involving plainclothes cops suggest that people respond differently than officers are trained to expect when the cops who approach them aren't in uniform.

Sheriff Lopinto has already rebuffed some calls for him to end undercover work, and he said he expected his office to proceed normally for now. "They're afraid of the police".

Also in attendance at the news conference was Gaylor Spiller of the local NAACP chapter. "I knew he just didn't die because the ozone was high".

She credited Lopinto and Cvitanovich for being open about the autopsy results and the investigation.

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