Jamarion Robinson: 1 year after police killed him, still no answers

Jamarion Robinson (Photo credit: Family handout)

When this writer first encountered the story of Jamarion Robinson, it was emotionally jarring on a visceral level. Rolling out was invited to see the aftermath of the death of Robinson by U.S. Marshalls serving a warrant on behalf of Gwinnett County Police and the Atlanta Police Department. I did not know a lot about Robinson other than he was another Black man gunned down by police.

On a hot August afternoon in East Point, Georgia, a crowd slowly gathered for a community walk-through organized by the Davis-Bozeman law firm and led by social activist and attorney Mawuli Davis. As the first group walked through the door, which bore the marks of a police battering ram, a trail of dried blood ran from the floor and up the carpeted stairs. Davis said that after being shot, Jamarion was dragged down the stairs by the Marshalls which left the trail. As the stairs are climbed on either side of the wall there are bullet holes with numbers, the numbers increase as you climb the stairs. The rest of the apartment was a bloody scene as all stood in the area where Jamarion was gunned down in a hail of bullets.

(Photo Credit: Mo Barnes for Steed Media Service)

Rolling out spoke with attorney Mawuli Davis as the one year anniversary of the execution of Robinson approaches.

Activist Atlanta Attorney Mawuli M. Malcolm Davis (Photo source: Davis Bozeman Law Firm)

It’s been nearly one year since Jamarion Robinson was killed by U.S. Marshalls. Please recap for our readers the circumstances around his death.

Jamarion Robinson was killed on Aug. 5, 2016, in the city of East Point, Georgia, at his girlfriend’s apartment. He was shot 76 times by a team of U.S. Marshalls, a fugitive team, there were three shooters. They shot him multiple times, there were no body cameras in place. The shooting was captured on video by someone else and you can hear shots fired, you can hear a stop in the shooting, then additional shots, a bang and then additional shots. We believe a flash-bang grenade was deployed.The GBI began the investigation into this matter.

How did the Davis Bozeman Law Firm become involved and what did you discover?

We came in after the family contacted us and we hired our own investigators. The investigator came in and discovered additional slugs found embedded in the floor of the apartment where Jamarion laid. So it appears that the shot was fired at a directly downward angle. Which, for us, is difficult to understand, why someone would directly stand over another person and directly fire into them. It’s our position, by that time Jamarion had to have been unarmed. We have met with the medical examiner and have gone over the photographs of his body during the autopsy. His hands were mangled, they were badly damaged as a result of these shots. There were additional shots to his legs which would have made him immobile.

How are you approaching the issue of the shooting?

Our position is that with 76 shots, there has to be an accounting for excessive use of force and that has yet to occur. After we gathered the evidence we provided it to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office they did open an investigation. Unfortunately, the Federal Marshalls involved have yet to do interviews with the district attorney’s office. We are approaching a year and the officers have still not made themselves available for interviews. This is absurd.

It is unreal that something like this can happen in America and that there is no level of transparency or accountability. This is what is personally and professionally frustrating for me because I am trying to do my best to support the family and go through this process. But, it’s illogical, it makes no sense for them not to have answers by now as to what actually happened.

Are law enforcement officials saying the shooting was justified?

Right now we don’t know if any of the shots were justified or not, We are looking for transparency and answers. That is the starting point. As far as we are concerned this case has not even made it to first base. Let alone making a determination if anyone should be criminally charged. The first part is that the perpetrators must give a statement. They must be willing to give these statements to the investigative authority of the Futon County District Attorney’s  Office.

What does this incident say about seeking justice?

It is deeply troubling that we have been unable to get further along than we currently are in this process. This is why the family has decided to engage on an even deeper level by having a march and rally on Aug. 5, 2017, the one year anniversary of the death of Jamarion Robinson. We will march from the Fulton County Courthouse to the Richard B. Russell Federal Building in order to dramatize the need for transparency and to elevate the conversation and dialogue about what happened to Jamarion Robinson.

What can rolling out readers do to support your efforts?

We hope that the readers of rolling out will heed this mother’s cry for help and this family’s call for support by physically coming out and marching with us. Frederick Douglass said he prayed for 20 years for freedom and he didn’t get it until he started to pray with his feet. So we are hoping folks will begin to pray with their feet on Aug. 5, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. on the steps of the Fulton County Courthouse.

Justice for Jamarion Robinson- Community Rally & March

Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017

Fulton County Courthouse

136 Pryor Street SW,  Atlanta, GA, 30303

For more information, visit  https://www.gofundme.com/justiceforjamarion

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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