CHARLOTTE — As the FBI continues to investigate the death of Shanquella Robinson while in Mexico, federal agents will have to sort through different narratives to discover what actually happened. But a criminal defense attorney in Mexico says the autopsy should be trusted more than the police report.
A journalist with the Cabo publication MetropoliMx provided Channel 9 with the text of the police report for Robinson’s death. The journalist says he obtained the police report through a source. Channel 9 does not have a copy of the report and is not able to independently verify the text.
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According to the reporter, the police report details what friends told doctors and police. The text provided by Metroplex claims friends told the responding doctor that Robinson was intoxicated and in need of an IV. The report claims that Robinson’s friends wanted her treated in their room, not at the hospital, despite the responding doctor’s advice. The police report claims when the doctor arrived Robinson had a poor verbal response and died within three hours. The text provided by the reporter states the police report lists her death as cardiac arrest.
Some details in the police report align with what Robinson’s family says they were told by her friends after she died. But the police report shares few things in common with the findings from the autopsy listed on the death certificate.
The police report doesn’t mention the severe spinal cord and neck injuries that the death certificate lists as Robinson’s cause of death. The death certificate doesn’t mention alcohol. It states that she died within 15 minutes of her injury and that Robinson was found unconscious in her living room.
Fabian Meneses, a criminal defense attorney in Tijuana, Mexico, who has worked on cases in Cabo San Lucas, says autopsies are generally more trustworthy documents than police reports.
“The autopsy should overrule the report because the police report is written by cops and the cops are not forensic experts,” Meneses said. “They’re just taking notes. They are just going to write out what they are told by witnesses.”
Meneses says the police report shouldn’t be taken as a definitive fact because it’s just a document listing what officers were told by people on the scene.
“I would say that most police reports don’t have the truth because it’s either hearsay or they’re being custom tailored to what the police needs to be in the report,” he said. “I don’t want to say that all police reports are false. But you definitely cannot rely just on a report.”
He says the State Attorney General’s Office and the FBI will figure out what happened. The police report was written the day Robinson died and nearly three weeks before Mexican authorities launched a femicide investigation. A femicide is the killing of a woman because of her gender. If gender is ruled out as a motive, the case will shift to a homicide investigation. The FBI is also actively investigating Robinson’s death. The police report does not mention any details of a fight. A video has surfaced showing Robinson being attacked. Her mom says the fight occurred on the trip.
Robinson’s sister, Tequlia Long, and mother, Salamondra Robinson, say the family commissioned a private autopsy. They aren’t sure when the results will come back. They also say the coroner texted them a photo of Robinson after she died showing she had a bruised face, swollen eye and busted lip.
Long and Salamondra Robinson say they are hopeful the FBI gets to the bottom of this and finds out what really happened.
“I am confident that they will,” Long said.
In the meantime, they are thankful for the support they have received from around the world, including the hundreds of people who attended Robinson’s funeral last weekend.
“Just to see your city backing you and everyone supporting you and having your back, you can’t beat that,” Long said.
The family told Channel 9 that they are still waiting for the results from a private autopsy they commissioned. They also said they have not received a timeline from the FBI.
(WATCH BELOW: FBI joins investigation into death of Charlotte woman in Mexico)
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