Black Man Died From Asphyxiation in Louisiana Arrest, Coroner Finds

Elias Hubbard
May 15, 2018

At a news conference on Monday Parish Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich said Robinson's death had been classified as a homicide based on the preliminary autopsy results, which revealed neck injuries "consistent with compressional asphyxia". Lopinto said the FBI's Civil Rights Task Force will also investigate. Robinson hopped back into his vehicle when he spotted detectives approaching and sped out of the parking lot, hitting two JPSO cars during the brief, half-block auto chase, authorities said.

The four plainclothes narcotics detectives involved in the arrest have been reassigned to desk work while authorities investigate the death, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said.

"They had to find out Keeven lost his life at the hands of another, and that's very, very hard for them", she said. "And now they have to move on to making funeral arrangements for this 22-year-old, who should not have died". They are killing our children. He fled police, according to Lt. Jason Rivarde, a spokesperson for the Parish Sheriff's Office.

We don't train somebody to hit someone with a brick - but if you're fighting for your your life and the brick's there, you hit somebody with the brick.

Lopinto said the deputies were placed on administrative duty. "I'm just so glad because I knew within my heart it wasn't, he just didn't die because the ozone was high", said Spiller.

Robinson was apprehended by detectives of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office in an undercover investigation over suspicions he was dealing narcotics, officials said, according to NBC News.

Now, a coroner has announced that he died of asphyxiation due to pressure applied to his neck.

The forensic finding of homicide differs from the legal definition.

The detectives were read their rights, and State Police troopers were there when the detectives gave statements about Robinson's death, authorities said. An investigation will now have to determine whether the detectives were justified in their use of force.

Lopinto mentioned it was too early to conclude whether or not a choke maintain was used. "Whether that force was excessive, I mean, that's what we're trying to come to a conclusion of", said Lopinto.

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

"Today is just as hard as Thursday for this family", Hilliard said. He said he asked state police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to join the probe to ensure there's an independent body involved. "We're not prepared to discuss that at this point", said Cvitanovich. "All knew all those things had existed, and as I said on Thursday, an autopsy had to be determined, to determine what the cause of death was", Lopinto said.

"I like the fact that Sheriff Lopinto stepped up to plate, and he's doing his part", Spiller said, according CNN affiliate WDSU.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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