Coroner Rules Death of Black Man Arrested in Louisiana Homicide by 'Asphyxia'

Autopsy reveals black man, 22, who died after a struggle with police was suffocated

Autopsy reveals black man, 22, who died after a struggle with police was suffocated

He allegedly fled the scene when detectives spotted his vehicle and a chase ensued. Jefferson Parish NAACP President Gaylor Spiller said she was pleased the coroner's office issued a ruling on Robinson's death so quickly and that "there was no cover up".

A Louisiana coroner says a black suspect who died in a battle with white law enforcement officials final week died of asphyxiation and there was proof of stress on his neck. These findings are consistent with compressional asphyxia, and we're confident that at the end of our process that that is going to be the cause of death.

Lopinto declined to identify the officers.

"I understand that this investigation will be under a microscope".

"I'm not coming to the conclusion that this was a chokehold", said Sheriff Joe Lopinto.

The fatal encounter took place on Thursday after the police tried to stop Robinson's auto at a petrol station, suspecting that he was selling drugs.

The NAACP released a list of demands concerning 22-year-old Robinson's death in the back yard of a home near Labarre and Jefferson Highway in Old Jefferson.

Robinson then crashed into two Jefferson Parish deputy vehicles before getting out of his vehicle and running into some backyards in the neighborhood, hopping fences along the way according to authorities. There was a struggle, Lopinto said, before Robinson was handcuffed. Detectives administered life-saving techniques before Robinson was taken to a local hospital, where he died, he said.

They said they feared the officers had either beaten or strangled him to death.

Later, when Lopinto was asked about whether it was in the county's policies to use chokeholds on suspect, the sheriff replied, "From a policy standpoint, we don't train somebody to hit someone with a brick - but if you're fighting for your life and the brick's there, you hit somebody with the brick".

Lopinto said Cvitanovich told him of the autopsy report Saturday. "I have every faith in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office to do their job and to do it correctly".

The four drug bust agents have now been placed on administrative leave.

He said they have each been read their rights and are cooperating in an investigation that involves Lopinto's office, state police and the FBI.

The Robinson family, including Keeven's mother, suffering at the loss of her child.

The attorney representing Robinson's family, Hester Hilliard, said they are seeking an independent autopsy.

"Today is just as hard as Thursday for this family", Hilliard said. "They are grieving, and today they had to find out that Keeven lost his life at the hands of another". "And that's very, very hard for them".

"Now it's time for us to move on to making funeral arrangements for a 22-year-old that should not have died", she said. Another said "Justice for Keeven".