The mother of a Georgia man killed by police is calling for one of the officers indicted for murder in his death be fired from the force.
Monteria Robinson told Atlanta Black Star that she lost it Tuesday after she found out Clayton County Police Officer Kristopher Hutchens was spotted at a training facility teaching SWAT officers to shoot. Hutchens was involved in the fatal shooting of her son, Jamarion Robinson, in 2016, and he is facing criminal charges for the case.
Someone within the department spotted Hutchens at the facility and alerted news commentator Rashad Richey. The Clayton Police Department has since removed the officer from the training assignment, but Robinson said that is not enough. She wants him to be stripped of his badge.
Robinson said she was mentally preparing herself for a candlelight vigil on Aug. 5, marking the anniversary of Jamarion’s death, but the new revelation reopened a wound, reviving the pain she felt when she first heard of her son’s death.
“How disrespectful is that? They still have this officer working. Are you serious?” Robinson thought when she saw Richey’s YouTube breaking the news. “It made me have like an emotional breakdown because I was like, how is this and why?”
Jamarion Robinson was shot 59 times on Aug. 5, 2016, while the US Marshals Southeast Regional Task Force served a warrant at his girlfriend’s home in the East Point neighborhood in Atlanta.
The group of about 16 police officers from various local agencies and US Marshals were looking to apprehend the 26-year-old for arson and aggravated assault of an officer. State investigators said Jamarion Robinson ignored officers’ orders to drop a gun that he had fired at them three times.
Monteria Robinson said her son had paranoid schizophrenia and was a “dedicated” college student and football player. He was experiencing a mental health crisis when he poured gasoline under his bed and near his mother’s bedroom. She reported the incident to the police to get him mental health assistance, his mother said.
Police say Jamarion Robinson pointed a gun at two officers after someone called 911 to report that he was harassing residents at a housing complex weeks after the arson attempt. He fled the scene and was then classified as a fugitive, sources in law enforcement say.
Hutchens and Eric Heinze, an assistant chief inspector for the task force, were charged with felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary, making false statements, and violation of oath by a public officer in September 2021 for their roles in Jamarion Robinson’s death.
A private detective his mother hired found evidence of gunshots fired straight into the ground where his body was lying, and the dead man had bullet holes in the palm of his hands, she said.
According to Clayton County’s own use of force policy, any officer involved in a deadly force incident should be placed on administrative leave directly after the preliminary report of the incident. The leave, according to department documents, comes with full pay and benefits pending an investigation,” the policy amended in 2019 states.
However, since Hutchens was executing a warrant with the U.S. Marshals task force, the incident had to be investigated by federal authorities. It is unclear when Hutchens was absolved from wrongdoing, but on Aug. 17, 2021, the Clayton County Board of Commissioners signed a resolution to expand the county’s participation in the U.S. Marshals task force and appoint Hutchens a part-time trainer.
The resolution says Hutchens had “developed a well-earned reputation as an excellent trainer,” and the task force asked him to “fill an existing gap in their training cadre.” It created the position specifically for Hutchens, the document obtained by Atlanta Black Star says.
According to reports, Hutchens joined the Clayton County Police Department in 1996. He left the agency in 2009 and returned in 2013, and he has worked with the task force since 2014.
“This is the first time the Marshal Service has extended such an invitation in the Atlanta region,” the resolution says.
The warrant for the state indictment against Hutchens was served on December 2021. The department told 11 Alive that Hutchens had been placed on administrative duty in March.
“Recent concerns presented to the Clayton County Board of Commissioners about the administrative assignment of Sergeant K. Hutchens, to the in-service training unit have impacted the Board and the Clayton County Police Department. Chief Kevin Roberts has reconsidered the Sergeant’s assignment, and moved him to a non-training duty; effective immediately,” Clayton County police officials said in a statement.
Monteria Robinson said even though some people have pointed out that the officer is “innocent until proven guilty,” her son did not get an opportunity to defend his case.
“He didn’t get to have his day in court because the Constitution does allow us due process, but they decided on that day to be the judge, jury and executioner,” she said.
Hutchens and Heinze both plead not guilty to the charges. The murder trial is scheduled to start on Sept. 12. A federal judge has shot down Monteria Robinson’s civil complaint, arguing that she does not have enough evidence of excessive force or false statements by officers, which she has appealed.