Wisconsin Officer Won’t Face Charges for Shooting of Tony Robinson
MADISON, Mo., May 11 (UPI) — Matt Kenny, a Madison, Wis., police officer who shot to death unarmed 19-year-old Tony Robinson, will not face charges for the incident, officials announced Tuesday.
Dane County District Attorney Ismael R. Ozanne announced the decision during a news conference.
“I conclude that this tragic and unfortunate death was the result of a lawful use of deadly police force and that no charges should be brought against Officer Kenny in the death of Tony Robinson Jr.,” he said.
“My decision will not bring Tony Robinson Jr. back. My decision will not end the racial disparities that exist in the justice system, in our justice system. My decision is not based on emotion. Rather, this decision is based on the facts as they have been investigated and reported to me.”
Dozens of protestors took to the streets in March after Robinson, who is bi-racial, was fatally shot by Kenny after allegedly assaulting the officer during a struggle. The shooting sparked overnight protests and calls for an independent investigation.
Anthony “Tony” Robinson was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said officers were responding to a disturbance call about a person jumping in and out of traffic and hitting people. An unnamed officer heard noise coming from a nearby home and went inside, where he says he struggled with Robinson.
“Once inside the home the subject involved in this incident — the same one allegedly out in traffic and that had battered someone — assaulted my officer,” Koval said. “…The officer did draw his revolver and subsequently shot the subject.”
It is unclear whether Robinson had a weapon.
Ozanne said Kenny exhibited “a lawful use of deadly police force” because Robinson was later found to have marijuana, mushrooms and Xanax in his system, and witnesses described him as “tweaking out” by jumping in front of vehicles and threatening bystanders.
Shortly after the shooting, protestors took to the streets, chanting “black lives matter” and “who do we trust, no one!” They later staged a sit-in near a government building.
Robinson’s grandmother, Sharon Irwin, and aunt, Lorien Carter, told the crowd Robinson was a gentle person.
“The mother has asked that her son not be dehumanized by local authorities,” he wrote on Facebook.
State Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, said she was at nearby gas station when the incident unfolded and witnessed the commotion.
Madison Police Department released a statement, preparing for possible protests:
“It is quite possible that there will be civil dissent, and the men and women of the MPD will help facilitate the safe movement of people should they decide to exercise First Amendment rights. It is our belief that Madison can endure without being fractured.”