Man Dies Of Asphyxiation With Traumatic Injuries To His Neck While In Custody Of White Officers

Man Dies Of Asphyxiation With Traumatic Injuries To His Neck While In Custody Of White Officers

22-Year-Old Keeven Robinson's death was ruled a homicide.

Published May 16, 2018

The autopsy results of a young Black man who died in the custody of four white Louisiana deputies last week revealed he suffered "significant traumatic injuries" to his neck consistent with asphyxiation.

Keeven Robinson, 22, was killed Thursday during an interaction with four narcotics officers with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. A coroner classified his death as a homicide, reported NBC News.

The four narcotics agents involved in Robinson’s death were placed desk duty. The sheriff’s office asked Louisiana State Police and the FBI civil rights task force to aid in the investigation of Robinson’s death.

"I understand this incident will be under a microscope," Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said at a Monday news conference.

Robinson’s family, who had nothing but questions after his death, felt their grief exacerbated after the autopsy results, according to family attorney Hester Hilliard.

"They had to find out Keeven lost his life at the hands of another, and that's very, very hard for them," she told NBC News. "And now they have to move on to making funeral arrangements for this 22-year-old, who should not have died."

Just hours after they learned Robinson was murdered, the family led a protest of over 200 people in the area where he died. 

"They're killing the children," Robinson's grandmother, Sheryl, told reporters. "Enough is enough."

Robinson was a suspect in an undercover drug operation. When the 22-year-old was targeted, he fled from police in his car, crashed into two sheriff's vehicles, and then took off on foot. Eventually, he was captured with drugs on his person, officials said.

Initially, Lopinto spoke at the scene of his death on Thursday and said there was "no indication" that deputies had choked Robinson. He also said Robinson’s death was “probably asthma-related.”

However, when Jefferson Parish Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich revealed Monday that Robinson's death was "caused by the actions of another,” the department changed their tune.

The coroner said Robinson’s death was consistent with someone choking, grabbing or leaning on his neck.

Lopinto said the four deputies were read their rights and gave statements. No body cameras were worn at the time of the death.

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: WDSU)


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