By Othor Cain,
Thursday of last week, family members, friends and attorneys gathered in the front yard of 61 year old George Robinson and demanded justice.
Robinson, who was recently released from jail and recovering from a stroke, was allegedly beaten by Jackson police officers according to witness testimony. Witnesses said, “officers repeatedly struck Robinson with a flashlight and body slammed him to the ground.” Robinson died at the hospital two days later.
Police officers were in the West Jackson neighborhood known as Washington Addition, investigating the recent shooting death of 62 year old pastor Anthony Longino, when the alleged incident took place.
Robinson’s family retained the legal services of Sweet and Associates. “Based on our investigation, we believe this is a case of police misconduct and excessive use of force,” said Dennis Sweet IV, lead attorney on this case. “The Jackson police officers had a duty to protect and serve the citizens of Jackson, not to victimize them…however, this has been a common pattern in Jackson.”
Sweet said his firm hired an independent investigator to gather the facts and based on preliminary findings, believes Robinson died at the hands of JPD officers.
Robinson’s sister Bettersten Wade also spoke during the media briefing and shared that the family had just buried another brother on Saturday and then Sunday was dealt another blow when police terrorized their neighborhood.
“On Sunday, police came here and brutalized him…they were suppose to protect and serve; we didn’t get that,” Wade said. “We didn’t get justice…not yet.”
Sources in the neighborhood spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation by police.
“You have to ask yourself why” one witnesses said. “Why did this happen to this preacher in this neighborhood at that time of day?”
Another person in the neighborhood said, “the shooting of Pastor Longino wasn’t random and because police were hell bent on finding and arresting someone, George got caught in the crossfire.”
Speculation has largely focused on why Robinson was field released by officers. Field release by definition is when a person accused of something or cited for something is released in the field and never transported to a jail or holding facility. “To add insult to injury in this case, after they (JPD officers) beat Mr. Robinson, they gave him a citation for disobeying a police officer, Sweet said. “This is unacceptable.
This investigation is ongoing.