Robert Johnson's case dismissed

Robert Johnson's case dismissed
Robert Johnson
Robert Johnson

Amarillo, TX - The marijuana possession case of a local man that ignited a crusade against police brutality has been dismissed.

Robert Johnson's attorney claims his client was beaten by police after riding his bike through a crime scene and then charged with possession of marijuana.

With Thursday's dismissal, Johnson's legal battle may be over but his defense team says the fight for justice is just beginning.

Legal documents show Johnson is intellectually disabled with an IQ of 52, which is why Potter County Attorney Scott Brumley requested a mental evaluation before proceeding with his criminal case.

That evaluation came back, showing Johnson's IQ is even lower than his school records reported and Brumley dismissed the case. "Under Texas law, it is the job of a prosecutor not to convict, but to see that justice is done," said Brumley. "When independent, objective facts show that a defendant is not competent to stand trial, justice is best served by dismissing the prosecution. It is not best served by continuing to prosecute the case so some ancillary agenda may be pursued. The facts of the case are well known and have been heavily publicized by the defense. There are no actual facts of the case left to cover up."

Johnson's defense attorney, Ryan Brown, believes the dismissal is the opposite of justice. "The county attorney is dismissing this finally, but it is kind of too little too late," said Brown. "His grandma has had to dig into her savings to bond out. He found us. We are helping him for free on the case, but if that hadn't been, he would probably have just sat in jail."

Johnson's accidental bike ride through a crime scene began a movement for oversight of the Amarillo Police Department and the formation of Amarillo Citizens for Open Government (ACOG).

Unlike Johnson's case, Brown said that movement cannot be dismissed. "The dismissal of Robert's case is not going to do away with this at all. It's not going to sweep it under the rug. We need a real system for representing poor people on misdemeanors in this city and county now."

ACOG plans on hosting another public forum to discuss problems and solutions at the end of September.

Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10