The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the death of a Brooklyn man who the department says was run down by officers in a police cruiser.
Tamon Robinson, 27, was loading paving stones into an SUV at Bayview Houses in Canarsie on the morning of April 12 when, according to accounts, he was chased by officers who believed he was stealing the bricks. The Times reports:
Mr. Robinson ran toward his building, but a police car hit him before he reached it, according to a police report about the events, which took place around 5:30 a.m.
An autopsy on Friday determined the cause of death was an accident, the result of complications from blunt impact injuries to the head, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office said.
Friends and family say Robinson, who sold scrap building materials in addition to his job as a barista, had permission to take the pavers. Regardless, initial coverage parroted the NYPD narrative — Cops Bag Brick Bandit! — and did not question how or why a man on foot was struck by officers giving chase in a police car.
After the Times broke the news of the internal affairs probe last Friday, DNAinfo reported that, according to witnesses, “police at the scene pulled Robinson from under the car, yelling ‘Wake up! Wake up!’ before bouncing him off the hood of the car.”
“It’s crazy what the officers did to my son,” said Robinson’s mother, Laverne Dobbinson. “[They] ran him over then beat him up afterwards.”
Hours after the incident, investigators were examining a police cruiser, which was oddly positioned in a walkway inside the complex and had a dent in the front driver’s side fender.