The NYPD still claims a 27-year-old Brooklyn man was killed after running into a stopped police cruiser last year, a story that contradicts some eyewitness accounts.
The official accident report states the police car was stopped on a footpath outside the Bayview Houses last April when Robinson “did run into” the vehicle, causing him to fall backward and strike his head.
Cops were in pursuit because Robinson, 27, had stolen paving stones from the project’s grounds. But multiple witnesses came forward, saying Robinson was deliberately mowed down by the cops.
The police account from a week after the incident is strikingly different. According to The Times, an official police report at the time said the cop car hit Robinson, and not the other way around.
"They hit him," said 26-year-old Franchette Mowbray, who says she watched the scene unfold from her 8th floor apartment window. "He flew up and he came down. They backed the car up, and they told him to get up. People were yelling out their windows screaming at the cops, ‘We saw what you did.’"
Robinson's friends also told The Times he had permission to take the stones.
And according to DNAinfo:
Both police and fire officials initially described Robinson’s injuries as non-life threatening, but on the day of the incident, witnesses told DNAinfo that police at the scene pulled Robinson from under the car, yelling “Wake up! Wake up!” before bouncing him off the hood of the car.
Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes has yet to put the case before a grandy jury, and has hired an accident reconstruction specialist, with no work connections to the NYPD, to investigate. That investigation, Hynes' office tells the Daily News, is still ongoing.
In the meantime, Robinson's mother, Laverne, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
Robinson was in a coma for six days before dying. During that time, he was handcuffed to his hospital bed.
Months after his death, Laverne received a bill from the city for $710 for damages to the cop car. Once the bill received media attention, however, the city canceled it and apologized.