A Brooklyn Mother’s Plea in the Bronx

By Mamta Badkar On Oct. 18, 2008, Christopher Robinson, 18, was beaten to death while being held at Rikers Island.  On Thursday afternoon his mother, Charnel Robinson, stood outside courtroom 210, at the Bronx Supreme Criminal Court and spoke out against the inmates and correctional officers she holds accountable for his death. Her attorney Sanford Rubenstein said the U.S. Justice Department should investigate what happened at Riker’s Island. A group of correctional officers and inmates  have not been charged with Robinson’s death, but with being linked to a "criminal enterprise" called “the program.” Officers Khalid Nelson, Michael McKie and Denise Albright have been charged with conspiracy.  Nelson and McKie have also been charged with assault, corruption and criminal enterprise. The indictment says that the officers authorized inmates to take over phone time, sanctioned assaults and even told them how to beat the inmates so as to leave the fewest possible traces of assault. “The young man, Christopher Robinson, was beaten to death because he would not comply,” Rubenstein said. In the weeks leading up to his death, Robinson said her son tried speaking to the correctional officers but feared them. “These officers are criminals themselves,” she said. Christopher Robinson, who had on the court’s instruction found himself a job at Staples after his release, was brought into custody for parole violation. “He got a job under their jurisdiction, he did what he was asked to do,” Rubenstein said. “The system failed him.”
Charnel Robinson discusses death of her son on first day of trial of inmates and corrections officers charged in the incident

Charnel Robinson discusses death of her son on first day of trial of inmates and corrections officers charged in the incident. (Mamta Badkar/ The Bronx Ink)

According to a Daily News Report, Robinson was first brought up on burglary charges in 2007. Attorneys for the correctional officers have filed a motion that they be tried separately from the inmates. “He wasn’t at the facility or even working at the time Mr. Robinson died,” said McKie’s attorney, Joey Jackson. “Trying them with the inmates would be unduly prejudicial to our clients.” Renée C. Hill, Khalid Nelson’s attorney, said: “My client has been adamant that he is not guilty. He’s been a good officer and we are looking forward to our date in court.” Nelson is currently out on bail but has been suspended from his duties. For the boy’s mother, however, the wounds are still fresh.  “No justice can be served to replace a child,” she said and left the courthouse asking that she be kept in people’s prayers.
  • allison

    Thats how his mothers goes to court. She looks like she belongs in jail. I guess thats why she is suing NYC shes to broke to change her appearance so she figured money can buy her something better. You can never change trash it will always smells… Right!!!

  • IT’s so sad how ignorant our black community is If you lost your child would you be thinking about the way you look of course not !!! Grow up and write a post that makes some since ……. AND WHY WOULD YOU EVEN THINK THAT MONEY COULD REPLACE HER CHILD THIS JUST SHOWS THAT YOUR MIND IS JUVENILE SO SAD GET A LIFE YOU IMBASOL

  • IT’s so sad how ignorant our black community is If you lost your child would you be thinking about the way you look of course not !!! Grow up and write a post that makes some since ……. AND WHY WOULD YOU EVEN THINK THAT MONEY COULD REPLACE HER CHILD THIS JUST SHOWS THAT YOUR MIND IS JUVENILE SO SAD GET A LIFE YOU IMBASOL