Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

NAACP call for arrests in drug suspect's death during struggle with police

NAACP call for arrests in drug suspect's death during struggle with police

Sheriff Lopinto has already rebuffed some calls for him to end undercover work, and he said he expected his office to proceed normally for now.

Robinson's grieving family is calling for an investigation by an agency other than the local police department.

Again, according to the sheriff's office, the deputies then struggled with Robinson, who was carrying what they suspected to be heroin, before they managed to handcuff him. He advised reporters at a information convention Monday that 22-year-old Keeven Robinson's demise is assessed as a murder. He added that he had shared the preliminary findings with Robinson's mother prior to his joint news conference with Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto.

The four detectives involved are white, said Lopinto, who declined to release their names.

The four detectives involved in the death will be reassigned to administrative duty until the investigation can be completed.

Lopinto mentioned it was too early to conclude whether or not a choke maintain was used.

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"We don't train somebody to hit someone with a brick - but if you're fighting for your life and the brick's there, you hit somebody with the brick". The 22-year-old black man, who had a gun in the auto and was suspected of being in possession of heroin, was on the run from the police when he crashed his auto into two Sheriff's Office vehicle.

Lopinto wouldn't say if the officers used a chokehold on Robinson, but did comment that they're not prohibited from using such force.

So far, no video has surfaced.

The sheriff's office does not use body cameras or dashboard cameras.

The detectives were read their rights, and State Police troopers were there when the detectives gave statements about Robinson's death, authorities said. But he added that the deputies who arrested Robinson were "undercover" narcotics agents and "would not have a body camera strapped to their chest on a regular basis". It's time to stop, enough is enough.

"We want the young black men to be able to walk the streets and when the police do frisk them, we want them to be able to stand and let the police do their job", Sheryl Robinson said.

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What feels to the officers in sneakers and polos like a normal police action seems to the civilian like an ambush by strangers, making it more likely they'll flee or act to defend themselves than they might when surrounded by easily identified police. "It's time to stop, enough is enough".

Also in attendance at the news conference was Gaylor Spiller of the local NAACP chapter. She said the organization was supporting Robinson's family and keeping an eye on the case.

"I know people would ask for that, but that's just not the case when you're working in that capacity", he said.

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

"We are here to support all sides".

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