According to the Clarion Ledger, Judge Faye Peterson said the state failed to present evidence that Desmond Barney and Lincoln Lampley acted criminally in the detainment of the 62-year-old Robinson in January 2019.
The state medical officer said Robinson died two days after the incident with police from multiple blunt head injuries.
Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens said the decision surprised him.
“Significant evidence was presented. … Three eyewitnesses identified that officers did body-slam Mr. Robinson. Medical professionals … acknowledged that Mr. Robinson died of blunt force trauma,” he said.
Robinson’s sister, Bettersten Wade, said she wasn’t going to hate anyone but did hate what happened to her brother.
The officers said Robinson failed to comply when asked to step out of his vehicle during a traffic stop.
Wade said he would have obeyed but was moving slowly because of a recent stroke.
Barney and Lampley, along with Anthony Fox, were indicted by a grand jury in August 2020. Fox is expected to appear in court at a later date. There’s no word on how Thursday’s ruling could affect Fox’s trial.
Fox and Barney currently work for the Clinton Police Department, and Lampley still works with the Jackson Police Department. He was reassigned to a desk job.
Clinton Mayor Phil Fisher released a statement about the verdict in the trial.
The City of Clinton is thankful that Officers Desmond Barney and Lincoln Lampley were exonerated today when Judge Faye Peterson entered a directed verdict in their favor. The City would like to commend Judge Peterson for her integrity and wisdom in these proceedings. The City of Clinton continues to support our officers and looks forward to Officer Anthony Fox’s exoneration in the future.Phil Fisher, Mayor of Clinton