FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Heartbroken but not surprised. A North Texas family is calling a loved one’s murder last month a hate crime.
Antonio Robinson, 39, was shot and killed in front of his Fort Worth duplex in September. A White neighbor, Edward James Murray, 54, has been arrested and charged with murder.
“For people to just hate on them like that,” Lewis Robinson, Antonio’s older brother, said as he loses a valiant struggle to hold back the tears. “There are a lot of people that have this hate in them, and now they’ve been given authority to stick their chest out and believe that nothing is going to be done.”
He says the Robinsons grew up in rural Mississippi — happy but surrounded by hate. The shadow of Emmitt Till’s murder always nearby.
“I know the bridge they threw him off of,” said Lewis. “I know the barn they beat him in… but, to still be dealing with this in 2020, something has to be done.”
He says his brother, Antonio, was playful and easygoing and harbored animosity toward no one.
“He just wanted to work… trying to provide, trying to have something and somebody take your life,” Lewis said.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, a witness told police that the suspect, Murray, hurled profanity and racial slurs as he walked past Antonio Robinson’s front door on Sunday evening, Sept. 27. They both lived in duplexes near Berry and 820 in Fort Worth. According to those documents, moments later Murray returned and began banging on Robinson’s security gate. When he finally emerged and asked what he wanted, those documents say Murray “without provocation pulled a silver revolver and fired.”
According to Fort Worth police, Robinson was shot five times. His girlfriend’s 9-year-old son called 911 and worked to apply pressure to try and stop the bleeding when dispatchers asked to speak with his mother.
“To die at the hands of a known felon, a white guy… it just adds salt to the wound. I’m going to be honest with you. The unimagineable has happened to my family,” says Robinson.
The family is especially outraged that Murray, a registered sex offender convicted of aggravated sexual assault involving a 9-year-old girl, is being held on a $100,000 bond.
“The DA’s office and the judges need to be held accountable for equal justice,” said Monique Robinson, Lewis’ wife. “How do you have the latitude to even give someone in this situation a bond.”
Both insist that had the situations been reversed, a Black man accused of murdering his White neighbor would be facing a much higher bond, if release were an option at all.
“I just wonder, what is the value of a Black life?” asks Lewis Robinson. “Can somebody tell me that? I’m not an attorney, or judge, what is the value of a Black life when somebody murders you?”
As he prepares to bury his youngest brother this weekend, the tears return, accompanied by a request.
“I just want them to do the right thing,” Lewis said.