October 28, 2020

Suspended officers to face grand jury over man’s death, mayor says

Three unidentified Jackson Police officers were suspended Wednesday after a coroner’s report indicated a man they had interviewed died the following day of a head injury.

Here’s what we know:

George Robinson, 61, was questioned and arrested by Jackson Police on Jan. 13 as police investigated the murder of Jackson preacher Anthony Longino who was killed outside his church. Police later arrested two men and charged them with Longino’s murder.

Witnesses say officers struck Robinson with a flashlight and bodyslammed him.

Witness say Robinson was sitting in his car in front of his house when officers approached him.

Officers asked him to get out of the vehicle. Family members said Robinson had recently suffered a stroke which made his movements slow.

“They just snatched him,” James Taylor told the Clarion Ledger newspaper. “They were brutal.”

Police charged Robinson failing to obey a police officer and resisting arrest. He was released on the scene, the equivalent of a motorist receiving a traffic citation.

Robinson died the following day, Jan. 14, at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart said Wednesday that Robinson appears to have died from blunt force trauma. The state medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. The coroner indicated to Jackson media outlets that the trauma appeared to have occurred during the encounter with police.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said three Jackson Police officers were suspended from duty with pay after the coroner’s report was released.

Lumumba said the results of the ongoing investigation will be presented to a Hinds County Grand Jury to determine if criminal charges will be filed against the officers.

The identity of the officers has not been released.

“In the full spirit of transparency, the administration will continue to communicate with the public throughout this process and we ask the citizens of Jackson to hold the family of Mr. George Robinson in their prayers,” Lumumba said.