Lawsuit: Why Was Man Shot 59 Times?

'My son deserves the truth,' says Monteria Robinson
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 29, 2018 12:48 PM CST
Lawsuit: Why Was Man Shot 59 Times?
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard discusses his attempts to obtain information about the killing of Jamarion Robinson, who was shot 59 times by law enforcement officers, on Friday, Dec. 28, 2018.   (AP Photo/Jeff Martin)

A Georgia prosecutor is suing the US Department of Justice over its refusal to provide information about how officers shot 59 bullets into a schizophrenic college student, the AP reports. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said Friday that federal authorities have blocked his prosecutors from interviewing the officers who killed Jamarion Robinson, 26. Howard said the federal agency has also stymied his investigation of the 2016 killing by refusing to turn over any documents, despite numerous requests during the past two years under the federal Freedom of Information Act. "We've never done anything like this," he says of the lawsuit. "Our hope was that the federal authorities would cooperate and provide this office and this family with all the information about this incident. I cannot understand why they have not done it."

Robinson's mother, Monteria Robinson, accompanied Howard when he announced the lawsuit. "My son deserves the truth," she says. Atlanta criminal defense lawyer Page Pate, who isn't involved in the case but has handled numerous others involving the federal government, says the standoff between local and federal law enforcers "is extraordinarily unusual." Robinson died in a hail of gunfire after a fugitive task force armed with weapons that included submachine guns broke down the door in the Atlanta suburb of East Point, Georgia, in August 2016, and fired more than 90 rounds "into or inside" the apartment, according to the lawsuit. Witnesses and videos have indicated that officers gave numerous verbal commands for Robinson to put down a weapon. (Meanwhile, a suspected cop killer was captured in California.)

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