Three officers who were cleared by the FBI and internal affairs are now being charged with murder






JACKSON, MS – This isn’t about justice.  It’s about vengeance.  
The Hinds County District Attorney individually indicted three officers from the Jackson Police Department in August before a Grand Jury.  They were charged with second degree murder in the death of 61 year old George Robinson, which occurred in January of 2019.
The officers are: Officer Anthony Fox, Officer Lincoln Lampley, and Officer Desmond Barney.  
The District Attorney’s indictments accuse each officer of using excessive physical force, resulting in Robinson’s death, which took place two days after the encounter with police. Specifically, the indictments state that the officers removed Robinson from his vehicle and slammed him head-first onto the ground. According to the accusations, after slamming Robinson, the DA said that the three officers struck and kicked Robinson in the head and chest areas. JPD has disputed these charges, and conducted their own Internal Affairs investigation. 
The FBI also conducted an investigation of their own, to determine whether Robinson’s civil rights had been violated. Internal Affairs concluded their investigation, having found no evidence of wrong doing. The FBI also concluded their investigation, having determined that Robinson’s civil rights were not violated during the encounter.
A committee of Jackson City Council members, overseeing civil services, cleared all three officers to return to active police duty. Officer Lampley was the only one to return, but is still on desk duty at this time, pending the outcome of the case. Officers Fox and Barney left JPD and accepted offers for full police duty with the nearby Clinton Police Department. The Mayor of Clinton, as well as the Clinton Police Chief, have been vocally supportive of the offices throughout this process.
The encounter came about during a manhunt for the killer of local pastor, Anthony Longino, who was shot and killed while opening up his church for Sunday services. Robinson was not a suspect at the time, but was discovered by the officers, involved in what they perceived to be a drug transaction. The officers approached the vehicle, and directed Robinson to show them his hands. He ignored the directive, and kept he hands below his seat. The officers removed him from the vehicle, citing noncompliance. They filed police reports stating that they subdued him while on the ground, and handcuffed him. He was released after questioning. The officers called in a medical response team to assess his condition and offer treatment, if necessary. Robinson is reported to have refused treatment.
WLBT reported that according to surveillance video at the Mustang Motel in Jackson, Robinson arrived there approximately an hour after the police encounter. Investigators were told that Robinson resided at the hotel. The surveillance footage shows that several people visited the room throughout the evening. 
He was taken by ambulance to a hospital later that night, after his girlfriend placed an emergency call.  He died of a brain hemorrhage at the hospital two days later. The county coroner, after performing Robinson’s autopsy, ruled his death a homicide by blunt force trauma to the head.
District Attorney Jody E. Owens II, former civil rights attorney and former head of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Missisippi branch, assumed the case after being sworn in January of 2020. He issued a joint statement about the Robinson case, and another high profile case that he inherited from previous DA, Robert Shuler Smith:
“George Robinson died on January 13, 2019, and Mario Clark died on February 14, 2019.
The previous administration received both cases in March of 2019.
Since being sworn into office this January, my administration has been actively investigating both cases and has been in contact with Mayor Lumumba and attorneys of the families involved.
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.
The COVID 19 pandemic has temporarily limited the ability of Hinds County District Attorney’s Office to convene a Grand Jury. Both cases are being prepared for Grand Jury presentment and Grand Jury action is anticipated in both the Robinson and Clark cases in the very near future. 
In as much as both the Robinson and Clark cases are the subject ongoing investigations the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office will make no further comments until such investigations are completed and a Hinds County Grand Jury has taken action regarding the same.”
Clinton Police Chief Ford Hayman made his feelings known about the case, and the involvement of his officers, in a brief statement at the Hinds County Courthouse:
“We don’t want anything to do with a bad cop, and if I thought these guys were bad cops, we wouldn’t have hired them.  
When the facts come out, I think everyone is going to scratch their head and wonder how did this come about originally.  They’re going to stay on salary, they’re going to stay busy, and we’re going to go through this process.”
Clinton Mayor Phil Fisher followed up with a comment t of his own:
“I hope the press will spend as much time in the exoneration process as they have in the accusing process.”
 The Mayor of Jackson, Chokwe A. Lumumba issued a statement on the indictments on shortly after they were issues last month:
“Our administration is committed to ensuring that Jacksonians have an accountable police department. As part of our accountability process, the City of Jackson has implemented a policy to turn all cases involving officer involved deaths over to the DA for review by a grand jury.
The Hinds County grand jury indictments, issued today, begin another phase of the process. In the full spirit of transparency, the administration will continue to monitor the situation and provide information to the public throughout each phase. We ask that you keep all those affected by this tragedy in your prayers.”