Mississippi police have been accused of causing injuries during the arrest of a man on misdemeanor charges that ultimately led to his death.
According to WAPT-TV, Tuesday, George Robinson, died in a Jackson hospital, just two days after he was arrested and released by police during the manhunt for suspects in the shooting death of a pastor.
Witnesses told the station that they observed police body slamming the 62-year-old and hitting him on the head while making the arrest. In what is known as a “field arrest,” Robinson was charged with a misdemeanor and then released at the scene pending a court date.
According to Robinson’s family, after he died at the University of Mississippi Medical Center on Tuesday evening doctors told them it was due to head trauma.
Wednesday, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba responded to the accusation with a statement issued by his office.
“The City of Jackson has been made aware of the death of a citizen after a field release arrest made by JPD,” the statement read. “While no one has come forward and no complaint has been made at this time, we believe that the circumstances are serious enough to warrant a thorough investigation.”
The coroner will determine the official cause of Robinson’s death as part of the investigation.
At a press conference, Police Chief James Davis explained that the officers involved in the incident were part of the department’s K-9 unit, which was searching for who shot Pastor Anthony Longino, 62, as he opened the church doors for worship.
While Davis declined to release the names of the officers, he did say he was not aware of any prior citations against them.
“We want the people to know that we’re here and we’re concerned about this and we’re going to do a thorough investigation,” reassured the Police Chief. “Once we complete the investigation, we will let you know of the findings.”
— WWJX-DT (@TV23JacksonMS) January 18, 2019