Roommate of UK receiver Robinson alleges police brutality during arrest

jmadden@herald-leader.comJanuary 17, 2014 

Lexington police charged three people, including University of Kentucky wide receiver Demarco Robinson, with disorderly conduct after an arrest early Friday.

Robinson, 21, and his roommate, Jerry Williams, 20, also were charged with violation of the noise ordinance and resisting arrest, according to court documents. They pleaded not guilty to the charges Friday in Fayette District Court. They are scheduled to appear in court again on Feb. 5.

Miranda Johnson, 21, who was visiting Robinson and Williams, was charged with disorderly conduct. She pleaded not guilty, and is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 31.

All were held in Fayette County Detention Center, but released a few hours later on bond.

Robinson declined to comment to reporters after Friday's arraignment. However, Williams — a 6-foot sophomore walk-on cornerback, who left the team in December, according to UK officials — told the Herald-Leader that this was a case of police brutality.

"I got beat up," Williams said. "I got violated in my own home."

Williams said he and Robinson were playing NBA 2K, a video game, early Friday when he heard a knock on the door of their apartment on Burley Avenue off South Broadway.

Williams said he opened the door and saw a Lexington police officer.

Williams said he had a pet snake that was out, so he tried to shut the door to put the snake up. When he shut the door, the officer put his foot in the door to stop it. He asked Williams to come out.

Williams refused to go out. When he declined, Williams said the officer grabbed him by his neck, but his hand slipped.

Williams said he put his hands up and said, "I'm not resisting," but the officer slammed him on his neck and his head. As he was handcuffed, Williams said he had a Taser to his head. Another officer had her Taser out.

Johnson said she was recording the incident when a female officer started to wrestle with her over the phone. Johnson said police took her phone in a back room with a large laptop. She thinks they were trying to bypass the cellphones security lock screen and delete the video.

Johnson asked the judge when she'll get her cellphone back, and he told her to contact an attorney.

"They were not professional at all," Johnson said of the police. "They were cussing us out."

Williams' mother, Tiffanie Roland, said she was "highly upset."

"We have a lot of respect for law enforcement, but that was excessive," she said. "I think it was racial profiling."

Williams told the Herald-Leader their home on Burley Avenue was ransacked. He said there was a hole in the wall, money was taken and a bed was broken.

However, Williams' account conflicts with police reports.

Lexington police said they were sent to the 300 block of Burley Avenue about 1 a.m. for a report of people being loud outside and playing loud music inside the home. The officers said they could hear the music when they arrived, the report said.

Once the door was open, one of the officers said he saw "a blunt" behind Johnson's ear and when he tried to grab it, Williams slapped his hand away. The police report said both Robinson and Williams slammed the door, pulled away and pushed officers when they tried to make an arrest.

Johnson began recording and causing alarm when officers tried to arrest Robinson and Williams, the report said. The officers said Johnson began cursing at them and refused to back away when asked.

Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts would not discuss the allegations made by Williams.

"The Lexington Division of Police does not respond, through the media, to complaints made by suspects involved in ongoing criminal investigations. The details of the arrest and the case will be made public during court proceedings," she said.

As for Robinson's status with the team, UK spokesman Tony Neely said Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops was aware of the pending charges. Stoops was out on the road recruiting and could not be reached for comment. Stoops will deal with the situation when he returns, Neely said.

Robinson, who already was serving a suspension for unspecified violations of team rules late in the season and missed UK's final two games, was expected to return for his senior season in 2014.

When asked if Robinson was going to be with the team next season, Stoops told reporters upon his suspension: "Yes. Provided he meets some requirements that we'll put on him."

Despite missing games with suspensions and injuries, Robinson was the team's fourth-leading receiver with 20 catches for 213 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned 11 punts for the Cats for 114 yards.

Williams was on the scout team, and never played in a game. He transferred to Georgetown College last week.

Since Stoops arrived on campus in December of 2012, five players have been dismissed from the program, including several who had known run-ins with the law. Brothers Khalid and Kadeem Thomas were thrown off the team in July for possession of a controlled substance at the UK Arboretum in July.

A month before, Kadeem Thomas also was cited for going 14 miles over the speed limit on Mentelle Park off Richmond Road. That citation said "upon contact, the vehicle had a strong odor of marijuana. Passenger cited for possession of marijuana."

Offensive lineman T.J. Jones was asked to leave the team this summer after being investigated for allegedly bringing a handgun onto school property in his hometown in South Carolina.

Cornerback Marcus Caffey was cited for possession of marijuana on campus when Joker Phillips was still the head coach at Kentucky. He was dismissed by Stoops later for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Justin Madden: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @hlpublicsafety

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