The family of a man who died after a DeKalb County officer deployed a Taser on him says the officer failed to follow protocol when he used the Taser.
Loved ones of Troy Robinson spent Sunday afternoon raising funds for Robin's funeral. The 33-year-old died as he was being chased on foot by DeKalb County police officer Casey Benton. Benton shocked him with a Taser as Robinson tried to get away by jumping an 8-foot brick wall, authorities said.
Robinson fell from the wall and later died at a hospital. An autopsy showed that Robinson died from head and neck trauma resulting from the fall.
“You question now, 'Are the police here to help us or are they here to harm us?'" said Robinson's cousin Aliyah Griggs. "We don’t know what to do now. We don’t know what to tell our kids now about the police.”
According to a preliminary investigation by the GBI, Robinson had been a passenger in a car that was pulled over for a traffic violation on Flat Shoals Road in Atlanta. After the driver was questioned by the officers about a gun found in the vehicle, Robinson fled on foot. Robinson climbed a chain link fence and Benton deployed his agency-issued Taser. Robinson attempted to climb over a cement wall and fell to the ground below.
“Running from the police should not be a death sentence,” said Mawuli Davis, an attorney hired by Robinson’s family.
Davis said Robinson was unarmed and started running from officer Benton because he was concerned about a probation violation warrant.
“In this instance, he was not a suspect," said Davis.
Davis said Benton violated DeKalb County Police Department protocol when he deployed the Taser on someone who was fleeing. Davis said officers should also consider environmental factors when determining whether to use a Taser.
"He's jumping over a wall," Davis said. "On the other side of the wall, there’s an officer waiting for him. Let that officer take him into custody.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting an independent investigation. According to the GBI, once it’s finished, the information will be turned over to the DeKalb County District Attorney’s office. Davis is pushing for the D.A. to open a criminal investigation.
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