Family Alleges Officer’s Conduct Violated Robinson’s Constitutional Rights
by Gilman Halsted
The family of a 19-year-old unarmed black man shot and killed by a Madison police officer in March has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and Officer Matt Kenny.
The suit seeks both compensatory and punitive damages. In documents filed in Madison Wednesday, the family’s attorneys claim officer Kenny’s actions were “unjustified and unlawful.” The suit also claims Kenny’s account of the shooting conflicts with audio and video evidence.
Jon Loevy, one of the family’s attorneys, said the video makes clear that officer Kenny’s life was not in danger.
“And you can also see on the video that the police officer’s story that Tony had attacked him on the stairwell and that he had shot in self defense in the stairwell is completely false,” Loevy said.
The video was examined closely along with other evidence during an extensive investigation of the shooting by the state Department of Criminal Investigation. And Kenny was cleared of wrongdoing by the Dane County District attorney.
Robinson’s mother Andrea Irwin says she hope the lawsuit will hold both the city and officer Kenny accountable.
Robinson’s grandmother, Sharon Irwin, who is not a party to the suit, echoed those feelings:
“I’m not looking for money, I’m looking for truth. It’s about the lies they have told and gotten away with, and if you have to lie to justify your actions then your actions are not justifiable.”
The city attorney has promised to mount a vigorous defense.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story featured Associated Press content. It has been updated with original reporting.
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