On Thursday, May 10, Keeven Robinson got involved in a tussle with four Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, police officers - all of whom were white - following a auto chase that began because Robinson was a suspect in a narcotics investigation.
Preliminary findings showed that Keeven Robinson died after suffering "significant" trauma to his neck consistent with compressional asphyxia, Jefferson Parish Coroner Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich said in a press conference on Monday.
In the initial hours after Keeven Robinson died following a chase and "brief struggle" with narcotics deputies in a New Orleans suburb Thursday, authorities said his death might have been related to his long medical history of asthma.
According to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto, narcotics officers were trying to engage Robinson while he was pulled over at a Shell station near the corner of Jefferson Highway and Labarre. It was about a block away from the gas station when detectives caught up with Robinson that the fatal encounter took place.
"This mother needs answers as to why she has to spend Mother's Day grieving over the loss of her child". The four detectives who arrested involved in the incident have been read their rights and put on administrative leave.
"From a policy standpoint, we don't train someone to hit somebody over the head, but if you're fighting someone and a brick's there, you're going to use the brick", he said. "That doesn't mean our officers did anything wrong, or it may mean that they did something wrong". "I just want the truth".
"I'm very happy to find out that it wasn't a cover-up", said Gaylor Spiller, director of the West Jefferson branch of the NAACP. Lopinto said the FBI's Civil Rights Task Force will also investigate. "And now they have to move on to making funeral arrangements for this 22-year-old, who should not have died".
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However, Robinson's family questioned that explanation, saying they fear deputies had strangled him to death.
Lopinto identified the JPSO agents involved as white.
The NAACP is also calling on Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto to get body cameras, set up a citizens review panel and implement better sensitivity training for deputies. "We're not prepared to discuss that at this point", said Cvitanovich.
"At this time I'm lost for words", he added. He told reporters at a news conference Monday that 22-year-old Keeven Robinson's death is classified as a homicide.
"Today is just as hard as Thursday for this family", Hilliard said. Call me cynical, or call me a student of what happens when police kill people.
When asked for her reaction to the autopsy results, the 61-year-old grandmother said she was not surprised.