The death of a young black man who died in the custody of four white Louisiana detectives last Thursday has been ruled a homicide, officials have said. Twenty-two-year-old Keeven Robinson had “significant traumatic injuries” to his neck consistent with asphyxiation, according to the coroner.
Initially, authorities said his death might have been related to his long medical history of asthma, the Washington Post reported, noting that an air-quality alert had warned residents in the area of particularly unhealthy ozone levels that day.
Jefferson Parish Coroner Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich said in a press conference on Monday that preliminary findings showed that Robinson died after suffering “significant” trauma to his neck consistent with compressional asphyxia.
Robinson had been a target of a narcotics investigation and was pulled over at gas station May 10. Robinson fled in his car, and later on foot, before he was chased down by deputies.
“I understand that this investigation will be under a microscope. I understand it fully,” said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto in a press conference Monday. “I have every faith in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office to do their job and to do it correctly. I know they have the expertise because this is what they do every day. But I also understand that an independent set of eyes is something that’s appropriate in a case like this.”
More than 100 protesters marched through Shrewsbury, Louisiana, to protest the death of Keeven Robinson on Monday night.