A former DeKalb County police sergeant was found guilty Friday of ordering the beatings of several teenage suspects.
Anthony R. Robinson, 49, was convicted on two counts of felony violation of oath of office, three misdemeanor counts of simple assault and one misdemeanor count of simple battery. A mistrial was declared on four other counts after the jury was able to reach a unanimous verdict.
Sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday. Robinson — who had faced up to 150 years if convicted on all charges — now faces up to 14 years in prison.
The case against Robinson stemmed from a November 2011 incident at police headquarters involving former officers Blake Norwood and Arthur Parker, who pleaded guilty last month to lesser charges in exchange for testifying against their former supervisor. Travarrius Williams, who was in custody over a suspected burglary, spotted Parker in the police station and accused him of wrongly arresting his brother.
Robinson overheard Williams and told the 18-year-old suspect, “We don’t let people disrespect us like that in our house,” DeKalb Assistant District Attorney Buffy Thomas said in her opening statement.
According to Thomas, Robinson then ordered Norwood and Parker to, “take (Williams) behind the shed and tighten him up.” The shed refers to the area where officers parked their off-duty vehicles.
Parker interpreted that as a command to “beat him up,” the prosecutor said.
Another officer spotted the beating and reported it to his commanding officer. An internal affairs investigation was promptly opened during which Robinson was alleged to have fed Norwood and Parker a narrative accusing Williams, the suspect, of spitting on them.
Norwood eventually turned on Robinson and later told prosecutors about a 2010 incident involving three teens, ages 15 and 16, suspected in a car theft. Norwood said he and Parker, along with another officer, were ordered to handcuff the teens and beat them.
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