ATLANTA – Georgia prosecutor continues the U.S. Department of Justice over its refusal to provide information about how the officers shot 59 bullets in a schizophrenic student.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said Friday that federal authorities have blocked prosecutors from the interviews with the officers, who killed Jamarion Robinson, 26.
Howard said the federal agency also has an obstacle in his investigation of the 2016 kill it by refusing to turn documents, despite the many requests of the past two years under the federal freedom of information Act.
“My son deserves the truth,” Robinson’s mother, Monteria Robinson, said Friday. “If there is nothing to hide, then produce the evidence of Paul Howard’s office.”
The situation is “very unusual,” said Atlanta criminal defense lawyer Page Pate, who is not involved in the case but has treated numerous others, the federal government.
“They stonewall plaintiffs all the time, but it is unusual for them to stonewall a public prosecutor that the investigation of a possible criminal offence,” Pate said.
“Normally, this is already worked out between the jurisdictions,” Pate added. “They generally work together when it comes to the investigation of serious crimes.”
Robinson died in a hail of gunfire after a fugitive task force whose members were armed with weapons that included submachine guns broke down the door of a suburban Atlanta apartment in August 2016, the lawsuit states.
Witnesses and videos have indicated that the officers gave numerous verbal commands for Robinson to put down a weapon, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement the day after the shooting. The GBI is investigating many shootings by the police in the entire country, such as Robinson’s death.
A gun is found at the scene was “believed to be related to Robinson,” the GBI said at the time.
East Point police said Robinson was suspected of the shooting in Atlanta officers that summer, and the members of the task force had gone to the apartment to arrest.
The Ministry of Justice does not immediately return a request for comment Friday. The Office of Public Affairs, said in an e-mail generated by the partial government shutdown, messages “may not be returned until funding is restored.”
Robinson had attended Clark Atlanta University and was transferring to Tuskegee University in Alabama shortly before he was murdered.