May 12, 2015
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne announced today that he will be issuing no charges against the Madison police officer who fatally shot Tony Terrell Robinson, Jr. in early March.
In the early evening of March 6, Robinson was shot and killed during an altercation with Madison Police Dept. Officer Matthew Kenny. Robinson is biracial; Kenny is white.
At a press conference earlier this afternoon, Ozanne announced that he’d decided the shooting of Robinson by Officer Kenny “was lawful use of deadly force and no charges will be brought against officer Kenny.”
According to reports, Officer Kenny was investigating a call on the city’s near East Side about someone jumping in and out of traffic who had assaulted two others. After arriving at an apartment on the 1100 block of Williamson Street, Kenny and Robinson struggled and the officer was struck in the head and knocked down before drawing his weapon and shooting Robinson, who was unarmed.
Since becoming district attorney in 2010, Ozanne has had to decide if criminal charges were warranted in seven fatal shootings by police. In all of those cases, Ozanne found the officers were justified in the use of deadly force.
Ozanne is the first Black district attorney in Wisconsin.
The family is scheduled to hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m. today in front of the Social Justice Center, 1202 Williamson St., to express their reaction to DA Ozanne’s decision and then march to the Capitol.
On the UW-Madison campus, there are a couple of related events happening tonight. First is a discussion that will be held at 6 p.m. at the Multicultural Student Center in the Red Gym, 716 Langdon St. and at 8:30 p.m. there will be a vigil outside Pres House, 731 State St.
Another event is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday where members of the community will meet on the corner of Few and Williamson Streets to discuss the announcement and plan their next steps.
The incident has drawn national media attention and led to multiple protests because of its similarities to other recent deaths of young, unarmed Black men at the hands of police elsewhere in the country.
A little over a week after his death, Robinson was laid to rest following visitation and funeral services that drew hundreds.
In the aftermath, a fair amount has been unearthed about Robinson. Those who knew him called him a ‘gentle giant’ who was a supportive friend and loving sibling. Others have painted him as a hoodlum, pointing to his conviction last year for an armed robbery that he was on probation for at the time of his death. His family has also confirmed that on the day he was killed, Robinson had taken hallucinogenic mushrooms, which altered his mindstate and mood.
Not long after the shooting, The Madison Times ran a profile of Tony Robinson as his mother, Andrea Irwin, remembered him — read it here.
Stay tuned here and be sure to pick up a copy of The Madison Times newspaper this week for further developments and reaction from the community about the death of Tony Robinson.