Bettersten Wade, of Jackson, Miss., calls for justice for her late brother George Robinson, of Jackson, Miss. Robinson was killed by Jackson, Miss., Police in 2019. Wade spoke on behalf of her family at a press conference held at the law offices of Sweet and Associates in Jackson, Miss., on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart said the state medical examiner found that George Robinson died of a subdural hemorrhage, caused by blunt force trauma to the head from police and his death was ruled a homicide. The family is demanding legal action be taken against alleged offending officers. A grand jury indicted three police officers on charges of second-degree murder Aug. 14, 2020. (Sarah Warnock/The Clarion-Ledger via AP)

JACKSON, Miss.—The Mississippi Court of Appeals overturned the conviction of a former Jackson Police Department (JPD) detective in the 2019 death of George Robinson, 62, the brother of Bettersten Wade. Former JPD Detective Anthony Fox was acquitted of culpable negligence manslaughter.

In the January 30 acquittal, the appeals court majority wrote that the prosecution failed to prove the detective “acted in a grossly negligent manner” or that the death of Mr. Robinson “was reasonably foreseeable under the circumstances.” Mr. Fox expects to return to the force.

“This is the way I feel about that,” said Ms. Wade, speaking to The Final Call. “Those that participated in the jury system in Hinds County are being told that they do not matter. The grand jury who voted to indict Anthony Fox, the judge who oversaw the trial, the district attorney who presented the evidence, the jury who found Anthony Fox guilty are all being told they do not matter.

Now, what is she [the state’s attorney general] going to do about my son?” she cried. “This makes two people that they have killed. But she is going to stand behind her fellow blue,” Ms. Wade closed.In addition to her brother’s death, Ms. Wade is also dealing with the death of her son, Dexter Wade, 37. On March 5, 2023, Dexter was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by an off-duty police officer.


Despite the coroner’s confirmation that a prescription medicine bottle was on Mr. Wade which could have provided authorities a way to contact and notify his family, that did not happen. Instead, his body was buried in a shallow “pauper’s” grave. (See The Final Call Vol. 43 No. 19). 

“In the case of Dexter Wade, the officer admitted that their officer killed him; then he was buried behind the county jail in the pauper’s grave. We want transparency, then accountability so this family can get some measure of justice,” Attorney Benjamin Crump told The Final Call. “For the Jackson Police Department (JPD) not only killing Ms. Bettersten’s son but also killing her brother; a police officer was convicted for killing her brother.

She was bringing a wrongful death lawsuit against the police department. She sat through two criminal trials. So, she finds it very difficult to believe that her son gets hit and killed by them; and then he has identification in his pocket. And yet they still don’t notify her of his death. She thinks that this is very, very suspicious and she believes that in many ways it was intentional. That is her belief,” said Atty.

Crump, whose law office as well as the co-counsel of Jackson-based civil rights attorney Dennis Sweet, now represents the family of Dexter Wade. They are also representing the families of Jonathan Hankins and Marrio Moore who were also buried in the pauper’s grave found located behind the Hinds County Detention Center, 16 miles West of the city of Jackson.

The process is now moving forward, Atty. Crump explained. “We’ve asked the justice department to come in because local and state officials seem to have tried to explain away everything as just a mere coincidence and Ms. Wade is saying that ‘there is no way you can make me believe that you all did not know how to find me, once you killed my child.’ And she believes that,” he said.

In her statement to the press regarding the acquittal in Ms. Wade’s brother’s case, State Attorney General Lynn Fitch wrote, “We are grateful that Officer Anthony Fox has finally received the acquittal he deserves. This office will not shy away from the tough calls to do what is right and just. And here, the evidence led us to one conclusion: Officer Fox should be acquitted. We appreciate the Court of Appeals’ thorough review of the facts and law that led to the same determination.”

Her statement continued, “Today, a wrong has been righted, and justice has been done. The good men and women who wear the uniform to keep us safe and maintain law and order in our communities need to know that their Attorney General will always have their back. We are their partners and whether we call it Back the Blue or Back the Badge or Blue Lives Matter, it all comes down to this: Supporting law enforcement is the right thing to do,” she closed.

In 2019, Mr. Robinson was pulled from his vehicle and subdued by three police officers. According to court records, an autopsy report listed Mr. Robinson’s death, a homicide caused by “at least three blunt injuries” to the head.

Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens II expressed his disappointment in the court’s decision. “The Hinds County District Attorney’s Office’s goal in each case is to seek justice,” his statement, in part, read. “… While we carefully review the Court’s decision and evaluate the appropriate path forward, our thoughts and prayers are with the family of George Robinson.” 

The DA’s Office said it could find no other case in which the attorney general, who represents the state in criminal appeals, argued to reverse a conviction.

In his dissenting opinion, Appeals Court Judge John Emfinger wrote it was clear that Fox and another officer forcibly removed Robinson from a vehicle and that Robinson’s head hit the asphalt roadway as officers were restricting his hands. “Based on the evidence presented and the jury instructions given, I find the evidence was legally sufficient for twelve ‘reasonable, fair-minded (jurors), in the exercise of impartial judgment’ to find Fox guilty of culpable-negligence manslaughter,” he wrote.