East Point, Georgia – On Tuesday, a grand jury indicted a police officer and a U.S. Marshal on felony murder charges in connection with the 2016 killing of a 26-year-old college student.
On August 5, 2016, Jamarion Rashad Robinson was shot 59 times and killed in a police raid in East Point, Georgia. The shooting occurred when at least 14 officers of a Southeast Regional Fugitive Taskforce, led by U.S. Marshals, forcibly entered the apartment of Robinson’s girlfriend to serve a warrant for his arrest. The warrant was being served because law enforcement believed Robinson was the man responsible for pointing a gun at Atlanta officers and fleeing, according to authorities.
At the time of the shooting, officers present were not wearing body cameras due to a federal policy at the time that did not allow task force members or local police officers assisting them to wear bodycams. Cell phone footage of the shooting captured about three minutes of gunfire.
A medical examiner’s report said Robinson was believed to have been shot 59 times, leaving him with 76 bullet wounds, 11Alive reported.
Robinson’s mother said her son, who suffered from mental illness and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia months before his death, was at his girlfriend’s apartment when 16 officers broke down the door.
“Over 90 rounds were fired at my son, flash-bang grenades were thrown at him, landed on him burning him,” Robinson’s mother, Monteria Robinson, said at a news conference in June 2020. “Somebody walked up the stairs, stood over him, and shot down into his body two more times. After that, he was handcuffed and drug down a flight of stairs.”
Eric Heinze, an assistant chief inspector with the U.S. Marshal’s Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, and Kristopher L. Hutchens, a Clayton County police officer who was part of the task force during the shooting, were charged with felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary, making false statements and violation of oath by a public officer, news outlets reported.
The case had been delayed from being brought before a grand jury a couple of times, with the latest owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Former Fulton County district attorney, Paul Howard, had said the investigation into the case was blocked by the officers’ refusal to cooperate and the absence of body camera footage. But when Howard lost his position to Fani Willis, the new prosecutor promised swifter action.
Robinson was a college football player at Clark Atlanta University and Tuskegee University and had no past convictions.