NYPD: Pedestrian Killed Himself by Running Into Stopped Police Cruiser

NYPD has reportedly changed its story about what happened to Tamon Robinson, the man who suffered fatal injuries when he was chased by officers in a police cruiser through a housing complex in Brooklyn. Whereas witnesses said police ran Robinson over, NYPD now claims the victim killed himself by running into the police cruiser, which wasn’t moving.

Witnesses say cops ran over Tamon Robinson, then dragged him, unconscious, from beneath the cruiser.

Meanwhile, the Daily News reports that, a year after the crash, District Attorney Charles Hynes has yet to decide whether to bring the case to a grand jury.

Tamon Robinson, 27, was loading paving stones into an SUV at Bayview Houses in Canarsie on April 12, 2012, when according to press accounts he was chased by officers who believed he was stealing the bricks. From a Times story published a week later, after Robinson had died: “Mr. Robinson ran toward his building, but a police car hit him before he reached it, according to a police report about the events.”

The Times said the Internal Affairs Bureau was investigating Robinson’s death.

Contrary to the initial NYPD account, on Saturday the Daily News reported that the official NYPD report claims “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.”

This story would strain credulity even without conflicting reports from people who saw the crash. 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.”

The Daily News says an independent expert has been hired by Hynes’s office to reconstruct the crash. “We can’t make a decision until we have the final report,” said a Hynes spokesperson.

NYPD sent Robinson’s family a bill for damage to the cruiser, but rescinded it after the media picked up the story.

In another instance of NYPD using a police car as a deadly weapon, last August officers rammed a dirt bike in the Bronx, killing the bike’s operator and injuring a passenger. The Daily News notes that the NYPD Patrol Guide “prohibits ‘ramming’ in an attempt to stop a vehicle.”

  • Agree with Driver

    So after I read this thread, and all of Driver’s comments, you are telling me that I “dont agree” with Driver? That’s interesting, because I really thought that I agreed with Driver. I agreed with Driver so much that I named myself “Agree with Driver” Maybe I should ask around the office to see if there are any eyewitness reports related to whether I do or dont agree with Driver. Better yet, let me find an investigative journalist who will get to the bottom of it. If I dont agree with Driver, does “Agree with Driver” even exist. It doesnt matter, either way, I suppose, because you have decided who I do and dont agree with. Its that sort of conclusory ignorance and lack of objectivity that will keep the Robinson tragedy from gaining traction. Because when the police are involved, people like you somehow forget that accidents happen and are willing to look the other way when someone ran away from the cops. Lets blame the police right? Let’s blame them because people of color are so afraid of them that they run away when confronted… because if they didnt run away, they would have died somehow at the hands of the police right? Driver is exactly right. It is never a good idea to run from the police, unless, you have so much to hide that you are willing to risk harm to yourself and others on the slim chance that you got away.

    I’ll tell you what, next time you are confronted by the police, why dont you run or drive away? Then we will see if YOU agree with Driver.


  • Anonymous

    Nothing in what you wrote originally suggested that you agreed with Driver–especially given that the actual content of your post is in contradiction to Driver’s comment on 4/29/2013.

    Meanwhile, points you’re conveniently skipping past, oh objective one: multiple witnesses and even the original police report saying that the car hit Robinson and the fact that the impact was intense enough that it not only gave him a brain injury severe enough to kill him but also broke his shoulder.

  • Agree with Driver

    I have never drawn a conclusion about whether the car hit him, or whether he ran into a parked car. I said that it is possible to suffer a serious injury by any type of fall. Freak accidents happen every day. The main opinion on which I “Agree with Driver” is that it is bad judgment to run from law enforcement. I never drew a conclusion on the ultimate issue. I wasn’t there. I haven’t heard witnesses testify in court or assessed their credibility, whether it is the police or the eyewitnesses. There will be a time when this makes it to court. That’s about as objective as it gets.

    You on the other hand will read a few reports, newspaper articles, etc., and then start pontificating about what happened as though you were there. You are likely projecting your own experience with the police into this situation and you are failing to be objective at all.

  • Anonymous

    The problem is that the likelihood of this case making it to court is slim.

  • Anonymous

    “I side with power–but only when it directly supports power. Back when even the police said that they hit him with the car, I kept silent. Now that they are claiming he somehow broke his shoulder and gave himself a severe enough brain injury to die from it, I come out in support of what the police are saying. Because power must be supported, reflexively, all while pretending to an objectivity that I don’t possess, because everything I say is toward one end: supporting power.”

  • liz

    He was running away from the car people not towards it.hewas hit coming up the ramp to get inside the building.

  • Matthias

    Rhetorical question: What the hell was their car doing on a footpath? You’re not even allowed to ride a bike there. (Obviously I know the NYPD drives their cars all over sidewalks and footpaths all the time. Walking through the park is so safe and pleasant when police cars come barreling along.)


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