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

16 May 2018

Gaylor Spiller, president of the Jefferson Parish chapter of the NAACP, said Monday that she is "very happy" to find out that the death of Keeven Robinson - the 22-year-old man who died while being arrested by Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office deputies last week - "wasn't a cover up".

Robinson, left, had reportedly been the target of an undercover drug investigation and was suspected of dealing narcotics, according to police.

Robinson scrambled out of the vehicle and over backyard fences until detectives caught up with him behind a home on Labarre Place. He advised reporters at a information convention Monday that 22-year-old Keeven Robinson's demise is assessed as a murder. Keeven's grandmother asked the four detectives involved to remember their own families.

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. "I don't want to delay disclosure regarding the direction in which we're heading from Mr. Robinson's family, the sheriff's department or the media", Cvitanovich said.

"Today is just as hard as Thursday for this family".

An initial autopsy found significant traumatic injuries to the soft tissue of Robinson's neck, Cvitanovich said, cautioning that the results from the autopsy, conducted Saturday, are preliminary and more tests need to be conducted. Family attorney Hester Hilliard thanked the coroner's office "for their professionalism and their transparency".

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A struggle ensued. Robinson was taken into custody and later died.

The officers admitted to using force during the arrest, the sheriff said, but he's "not coming to the conclusion that this was a chokehold". 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.

'I understand that this investigation will be under a microscope, ' Lopinto said.

Lopinto said the investigation would determine if the use of deadly force on Robinson - who did not have a gun on his body but had one in his vehicle - was justified. They administered life saving techniques to the Robinson, but to no avail.

"We are here to support all sides". "But they're afraid of the police, they are killing our children". He stopped breathing during that struggle, Lopinto said.

She praised Lopinto and Cvitanovich for being open about the autopsy results and the investigation. But I knew out on the scene that the gentleman had asthma, I also knew it was a bad air day. The sudden, tire-squealing approach of non-uniformed men with guns can be hard to distinguish from a robbery or carjacking attempting, and numerous high-profile incidents involving plainclothes cops suggest that people respond differently than officers are trained to expect when the cops who approach them aren't in uniform.

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