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 Betta" Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician.

  • SrAgri

    “It’s our position, by that time Jamarion had to have been unarmed.”

    The elephant in the room is the simple fact that Jamarion was armed and opened fire on US Marshalls who were trying to arrest him. Interestingly, this article does not mention this hugely significant detail.

    • nosey rosy

      regard;ess of if he did they need to prove that weapon is not registered philando castile is dead cause a scary cat cop decided philandro had a gun unregistered , if your gonna legalize us to carry shouldnt your police ask question before assuming something ,and let them run ? why you chasing them any way .. they will turn thmeself in and you could alwas put a apb out on hiim.

      • Jillyin James

        dont forget one important thing. The constitution is clear that our rights and privileges were not given to us by man but that we are all born with it because god. Specifically the second amendment is clear when it says the right to bear arms will not be infringed.

        We have to stop acting like they let us carry guns because that is not the case. In fact we should never assume authority is just and we should always iunsist they prove to the people they were just

        • SrAgri

          Just because a person has a right to carry a gun does not mean that they have a right to shoot at police or US Marshalls.

          A few relevant facts that this article forgot to mention”
          1) Jamarion had been in a shoot out with police
          2) A warrant was issued for Jamarion due to previous shoot out
          3) US Marshalls found out where he was and went to arrest him
          4) Jamarion was armed and began firing at US Marshalls

          • Marie

            If he fired on the US marshals why were they unable to find bullet slugs in the wall from the angle that they claimed he fired. Where are the bullets to the supposed shots he fired at us marshals? They in fact had a warrant to arrest him there’s conflicting information he was shot and killed between one and 2 o’clock at the warrant had a time stamp on it for after 4:30 p.m. that day so yes there are conflicting views but the facts are facts. If they made these claims they should be able to prove them. The police should not be able to enter into someone’s home without an arrest warrant which they did not have at the time. Mistakes were made they need to acknowledge them. It they feel that they were justified in doing what they did they need to prove why because some things don’t add up. When you kill someone like that, answers should be readily available and people should be accountable. I’m not saying these cops were in the wrong. I’m not saying this young man’s family is right. All we are hearing from is this man’s family. The marshals are not speaking at all this is ridiculous. This family needs closure they need to present their facts.

          • SrAgri

            I don’t disagree with your idea that there should be more transparency on this case.

            However, I do believe the Marshalls did indeed have an arrest warrant at the time they went to the apartment where Jamarion was. Do you have a source for your statement that they did not have an arrest warrant?

      • SrAgri

        It doesn’t matter if a weapon is or is not legally registered. If you open fire on police when they come to arrest, they will shoot you.

        This case is nothing like the Philando Castile case. In Castile’s case, an officer freaked out and shot him as soon as Castile told him there was a gun in the vehicle. That was ridiculous. In this case, Robinson opened fire on US Marshalls. That is a special kind of stupid.

  • nosey rosy

    WISH I COULD go trhere , this is truely one of the once case of police brutality there has ever been , this one is right up there with emmitt till case , we all know he was beaten shot and mutilated while still alive , how does one human do this to another , its like they dont believe there is a god, whom judges us . its like these people want to make some kind of evil mark on the world b efore they leave , some times i think humans are not human at all , what are we? white men are some of the most evil of gods creatures seriously , i know blacks kill too but rarely have you heard of a group of black men gunning down someones young family member like this ., those marshalls were toltally disgusting to do this , and should never wear another badge ever… its time to get rid of all these war veteran cops .. all they do is look for a target and to them a black man is the same value as one of them afghanistan people whom they killed plenty of , children and all . our miltary allows them to do this , and expect them to come home normal able to make fair and senseble choices . to kill a man is a choice . if that boy didnt have a gun pointed at them he should not been killed at all ….. i feel so bad for the family of this man ..

    • SrAgri

      “rarely have you heard of a group of black men gunning down someones young family member like this”

      Really?! You do realize that most gun violence in the US occurs between young black men in Robinson’s age group.

      You comment about the Marshalls “gunning down” Robinson ignores the very simple fact that Robinson was actively trying to gun them down.

  • Sebastian B

    The tax payers shouldn’t have to pay for all them bullets, retrain law enforcement one shot one kill

    • SrAgri

      “One shot one kill” is not only unpractical, it would be illegal. An officer shoots for center of mass to stop a threat. If an officer deliberately shoots to kill, that would open up a legal Pandora’s Box.

      Besides, under the stress of being shot at, an officer’s general coordination and marksmanship is going to suffer.

      All that said, I agree they should not have needed 76 shots.