Criminal Justice

Murder of civil rights lawyer in 2011 remains unsolved

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Two years after he was shot to death in his Flint, Mich., home, the murder of lawyer and civil rights activist C. Frederick Robinson remains unsolved.

Robinson, 79, was gunned down in his home just before midnight on June 18, 2011, reports.

Renee “Lucky” Williams, a former client, was later arrested and charged with stealing Robinson’s car and credit card, though the charges were dropped after she entered a plea to a manslaughter charge in an unrelated case. Williams is serving a 6-to-15-year prison sentence in that case.

Police said Williams was seen with another man on a surveillance video at a gas station where Robinson’s credit card was used shortly after the murder. Police named the man a person of interest, but he has never been arrested or charged.

Robinson’s daughter, Debra Robinson, told she doesn’t think Williams killed her father. She said she doesn’t believe anyone who knew Robinson would kill him.

“He was so forgiving of people’s faults,” she said. “He was so willing to give people their third or fourth chance to get themselves right.”

Robinson, who moved to Flint in the 1950s, worked to eliminate racial barriers in the city. A sleep-in he led at city hall helped make Flint the first city in the country to ban discrimination in housing. He also worked to eliminate the racial screening of prospective teachers in the city’s schools and to integrate the cemetery where he is now buried.

Police say the case remains open, but there are no new developments to report.

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