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Families accuse police department of brutality, seek justice

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    Jackson, MS (WAPT) — Several families held a news conference Tuesday to accuse the Jackson Police Department of brutality.

The families included those of George Robinson and Mario Clark, both of whom died in 2019 after encounters with Jackson police officers.

“It was good to see they had marching for George Floyd, but I want justice for George Robinson, too,” said Robinson’s sister Bettersten Wade.

A coroner’s report ruled Robinson died of a subdural hemorrhage caused by blunt force trauma. According to witnesses, officers struck the 61-year-old man with a flashlight and body-slammed him after he was arrested on Jones Street in January 2019.

According to Clark’s family, the 31-year-old was assaulted by officers on Valentine’s Day 2019 after his mother called 911 because he was having a psychotic episode. Clark died after six days on life-support. His death was ruled a homicide.

Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens released a statement in response to the allegations.

“Since being sworn into Office this January, my administration has been actively investigating both cases and has been in contact with Mayor (Chokwe Antar) Lumumba and attorneys of the families involved,” Owens said. “It is the policy of the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office that all evidence generated from death investigations involving police officers is presented to a Hinds County Grand Jury to determine whether criminal charges against the police officers involved is warranted.”

Owens said the COVID-19 pandemic has limited his ability to convene a grand jury, but said both cases are being prepared once the threat of coronavirus subsides.

Lumumba also released a statement:

“The City of Jackson has acted swiftly, appropriately, and within its power with respect to all of the cases mentioned during (Tuesday’s) press conference held by the Law Offices of Sweet & Associates. We are grateful to the district attorney for clarifying the city’s response with respect to the Mario Clark and George Robinson cases. Not only were these cases, per the DA’s statement, referred to their office, but action was taken immediately to remove those officers off the street during their pending investigations. In the Mario Clark and John Knight cases, the officers were terminated immediately. In the Mario Clark case, those officers were brought back on duty by the Civil Service Commission. That decision is currently being appealed by the City.”

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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