Mother Brutally Beaten for Trying to Shield Her Son From Getting Shot by Police
Dover is a small town in Arkansas, the kind where everyone knows each other.
With a population of 1500, the friendly residents have a habit of greeting the people they meet.
However, on the evening of September 13, 2011 a local family was punished for its cordial ways.
Ron Robinson has been a volunteer firefighter in the town for more than 30 years – that night his family suffered at the hands of several police officers and found themselves arrested for a single friendly gesture.
A shocking turn of events
Eva Robinson, a Sunday school teacher and her son Matthew were out walking their dog on a sidewalk when a police car drove past them.
As Dover Deputy Marshal Steven Payton was driving, the 16-yr-old boy apparently waved at him, thinking they knew each other.
According to reports the Deputy assumed the boy was on drugs. This is when all hell broke loose.
The police officer turned on his patrol lights, got out of the car and threatened Matthew, accusing him of being on drugs.
He told the startled boy that it was quite dubious that he waved to the cop while one of his hands was in his pocket.
While he waited for backup, the officer ordered the mother, son and dog into the backseat of his car.
Once the other members of law enforcement arrived, they choked Matthew, beat him up and tasered him several times, reports say.
The dragged Eva across the ground and slammed her against a patrol car as well.
As soon as the other cops arrived they decided was time to check the pair for weapons.
One of them opened the door and ordered the mother and son to get out; as Matthew tried to get out his shoe became stuck under a seat causing him to lose his balance. When he reached his arm out asking a cop for assistance, Sergeant Kristopher Stevens of the Pope County sheriff’s office took this as a hostile gesture and started using the Taser on him, according to reports.
Eva, who was already in a state of shock, thought the cops were shooting her son so she covered Mathew’s body to protect him.
This too was met with brutality. The officers dragged them out of the car, separating them and then tasered them to the point of the distressed woman urinating on herself.
Even so, she could not continue witnessing her son being ill-treated by the cops; so she crawled towards the boy, this is when she was slammed against a car with such intensity that her body broke the vehicle’s antenna.
Payton himself admitted that she was a “petite, slender female”.
She was then taken to jail on three charges, which included resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and an appalling accusation – criminal mischief which caused a patrol car’s antenna to break.
Upon hearing the commotion outside, including his wife’s loud shrieks, Ron Robinson rushed outside their home – as soon as the police spotted him they ordered him to drop to his knees and place his hands over his head.
This is a child who was not even permitted to use social media because the parents considered it a negative influence.
The family say their ordeal did not end that night and they have been harassed by the authorities ever since.
The trial and lawsuit
Seven months later the matter went to trial. Curiously, the judge did not allow dash cam footage to be used as evidence, stating that it had been brightened for better visibility.
He found Eva guilty on all three charges and ordered her to pay more than $ 1000 in penalty.
She appealed and the jury found her innocent after viewing the dash cam footage.
This allowed the family to file a lawsuit through The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas in July 2013.
Now, a federal court jury after six days of deliberations has ruled against the Robinsons.
Instead, a $225,000 settlement was reached with Sergeant Stevens and the Pope County.
There were several steps that the cops managed to skip after the incident.
They tried to cover up their wrongdoing by failing to even document the event correctly.
In addition to this, a use of force report was not filed either and they did not offer medical assistance to the victims and there is no account of how many times the Taser was used.
The Dover police attorney offered dropped the charges against the Robinsons if they promise to keep quiet – a proposal that was rejected by the family.
It turns out that the Dover Police Department has a policy in place that allows them to detain civilians without any evidence of a crime.
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