Family wants another agency to head Keeven Robinson death investigation

Family wants another agency to head Keeven Robinson death investigation

22-year-old Keeven Robinson lost his life while detained by Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, police officers.

His death is now being ruled as a homicide, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said.

Robinson had been under investigation by narcotic detectives when undercover officers tracked him down at a local gas station and tried to arrest him.

"This incident investigation started on May 10, continues today, and will continue until the completed case report is finalized and presented to the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Officer for its review", Lopinto said in a statement dated May 14.

Four deputies caught up with him in the backyard of a nearby home, resulting in a physical struggle.

Robinson's mother, Kiwanda Robinson, and several dozen family members attended Monday's news conference when the autopsy results were made public.

"From a policy standpoint, we don't train somebody to hit someone with a brick", Sheriff Lopinto said.

"We understand that [detectives] have a job to do and sometimes that job is hard, by all means, but under these circumstances, we believe it's appropriate for them to be on administrative duty", Lopinto said.

Gaylor Spiller, president of the West Jefferson Parish NAACP branch, said Robinson's family is seeking an independent autopsy.


The deputies, who were all white, have been read their rights and are co-operating with local, state and FBI investigators.

Lopinto said it was too early to conclude whether a choke hold was used. "And now they have to move on to making funeral arrangements for this 22-year-old, who should not have died". Whether detectives will be charged in connection with Robinson's death has yet to be determined.

Local activists and reporters on Monday questioned why the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office has declined to use body cameras on deputies.

Asked whether detectives admitted to using a chokehold, Lopinto could not say, but said that while officers are "not trained" to use chokeholds "on a normal basis", they are "not forbidden from doing that". "It appears to be probably asthma-related", he said then.

"You got somebody in 'cuffs, take them to jail", Robinson's father, Steven Jackson, told the Times-Picayune.

Robinson's grandmother, Sheryl Robinson, said that she wants "the young black men to be able to walk the streets". Now, a corner has said Robinson died of asphyxiation. "We're not prepared to discuss that at this point", said Cvitanovich. "But they're afraid of the police, they are killing our children".

Hilliard said the sheriff and coroner have acted with "professionalism and transparency".

She credited Lopinto and Cvitanovich for being open about the autopsy results and the investigation.

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