ATLANTA - Members of the group The People's Uprising have paid for a billboard to stand on West Avenue in Southwest Atlanta bearing the names of Rayshard Brooks and Jamarion Robinson--the 26-year-old who was shot 76 times in August 2016 during a fugitive task force raid that included U.S. Marshalls.
“I’m tired of waiting for justice. Our goal is to get them out of their blue uniforms and into an orange jumpsuit,” said Robinson’s mother, Monteria.
At the time, authorities said they were acting on a warrant obtained after the Tuskegee University student allegedly fired at officers during a prior encounter. But Monteria Robinson said her son suffered from schizophrenia and insists the officers were not trained to execute search warrants for people with psychiatric conditions.
“My son didn't kill, rape, or brutally beat anyone, but my son was heinously executed here in the city of Atlanta,” said Ms. Robinson.
State representatives were among several supporters who stood with Ms. Robinson Monday--calling for justice in the case and police reform legislation at the State Capitol.
"We're calling for the immediate hearing of House Bill 636, which would determine if excessive force is at play due to the role of police officers in Georgia,” said State Representative Park Cannon, who represents Atlanta. “We're not calling for this because we think it could be a good idea. We know this is a litmus tested idea for us to reform policing in Georgia.”
Fellow lawmaker David Dreyer said too many questions remain unanswered about the raid where more than 100 shots were fired.
“How do you shoot someone 76 times? The only way you do that is if you don't view that as a human being deserving of dignity and that's the system we are here to break,” said Dreyer, who always represents Atlanta.
In a statement to FOX 5 News, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said the Robinson case has been a top priority since 2016. He said the Robinson case will be among the first to go before a grand jury for indictment after COVID-19 restrictions are eased for the state’s judicial system.
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The full statement from Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard reads:
“The investigation into the death of Jamarion Robinson has been a priority for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and its Public Integrity Unit since 2016. We have utilized eight outside experts and conducted more than 27,000 man-hours to try to bring this investigation to a conclusion. Additionally, within the last three months, the Federal Court has agreed with the contentions raised in our lawsuit filed against the Justice Department because evidence and documents were not provided in a timely manner. The court in an unprecedented move has ordered the Justice Department to pay Attorney’s fees to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Despite the lack of federal cooperation with our investigation, their unwillingness to turn over evidence, and the restriction of access to our attempts to interview the law enforcement officers involved in Jamarion’s death, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office planned to bring the case before a grand jury for indictment on March 25, 2020. However, due to COVID-19 and the Statewide Judicial Emergency, that plan was altered. As soon as the Statewide Judicial Emergency is lifted and we can proceed with grand jury presentations, Jamarion Robinson’s case will be one of the first to go before a Fulton County Grand Jury for indictment. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office joins Mrs. Robinson in mourning the death of her son, and we hope to bring her some closure in this matter as soon as possible.”