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No Charges in Tony Robinson shooting

Dane County District Attorney Ishmael Ozanne announced no charges will be fired against Officer Matt Kenny in the death of Tony Robinson.

Shots were fired lawfully.

\"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,\" said Ozanne. 

\"My decision will not bring Tony Robinson, Jr back\" Ozanne told reporters. \"My decision will not end the racial disparities that exist in the justice 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.\"

The altercation occurred on March 6th between Matt Kenny and Tony Robinson Junior. The officer said he shot and killed the bi-racial teen in self-defense ignited protests city wide.

There were three 911 calls before Officer Kenny arrived on the scene.

It was reported Tony was \"tweaking\" and chasing everyone around, according to Ozanne.

The first 911 call said it is not believed Tony was armed.

The first call said Tony was going crazy and had taken shrooms or some type of drugs.

\"Tony is acting insane right now,\" said first 911 call.

At 6:31 p.m. a 911 call said a man was attacking pedestrians and man punched in the face. The description matched Robinson's.

The third caller was at the gas station Robinson was screaming across the street. Tony came up to him and tried to choke him.

\"His shirt was off and he was roaming around blocking traffic\" \"was seen trying to break into apartment 2 on 11-25 Williamson Street.\"

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Incident occurred near 1125 Williams Street.

Tony was, also, seen trying to assault two people on the sidewalk, according to Ozanne.

Surveillance video shows officers walking up driveway prior to approaching apartment entrance. The officer is observed speaking into his radio then reaching for firearm before entering apartment number two it does not appear he had to open the door.

Officer is in the residence 20 seconds and seen backing out almost losing balance, fired one shot while outside the residence.

Robinson's feet appear in doorway after Officer exits residence

The audio recording from another officers recorded seven shots in three seconds.

Three shots followed by three shots followed by one shot. All seven shots hit Tony Robinson at close range

Officer Kenny's statement indicates he could hear sounds of disturbance, that appeared to be coming from second floor apartment he went around apt to verify, he heard incoherent yelling and screaming and what soudned like a fist hitting something and items being thrown or breaking

The officer radioed dispatch that he was going in and upstairs as he went in he drew his firearm he heard smacking thumping and yelling that was incoherent.

The officer yelled Madison police there was silence, and someone yelled well the police are here.

Tony Robinson immediately struck him with his fist on the head knocking him to the right he struck the wall with the right side of his body this is consistent with damage to drywall

He stated that Tony Robinson continued to agress towards him swinging at him he indicated he was rocked back and lost balance on the stairs. Officer indicated he was afraid he would be struck and lost consciousness and that his firearm would be taken to shoot him and the other person in the apartment --he shot two strings of fire the first was three rounds the next two or three rounds.

He did not know how he got to the bottom of the stairs and yelled don't move.

He didn't not seeing anything in Robinson's hands or waistband he was still conscious.

He radioed shots fired and requested an ambulance. He believed someone else was upstairs and rendered aid to Robinson until paramedics were there

Before making the decision, the District Attorney met with the mother of Tony Robinson, high school students, neighborhood watch group, black leaders in the Madison community, Dane County police chiefs and Dane County Racial Justice committee.

In a release, District Attorney Ishmael Ozanne said he will meet immediately after with the Robinson family.

The Robinson family will hold a press conference to give their reaction at 4:30 pm in Madison, Wis.

\"I have privately extended my condolences to his mother privately and do so again today I am so very sorry for your loss,\" Ozanne said.

The Wisconsin Police Union issued a statement on Twitter: 

\"Despite this outcome our hearts go out to Mr. Robinson's family, and we appreciate the challenges and emotions that this incident has inspired. As a city we must now come together to engage in a community-wide dialogue to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and teh people it serves, and to otherwise move forward in a way that protects all of our citizens and the officers that police our streets. Just as Wisconsin has been a pioneer in terms of enacting groundbreaking reforms to ensure that officer-related deaths are investigated in an independent manner, so too can Madison provide a path for the rest of the a nation to follow by engaging in a public discourse that ensures that the voices of our community do not go unheard.\"

The Madison Police Chief issues a statement on the verdict:

\"The verdict is in on the Tony Robinson case. After applying the law to the unique facts of this incident, District Attorney Ozanne has determined that MPD Officer Matt Kenny will not be charged criminally.In the aftermath of this decision, our City finds itself at a crossroad. How will we--as community--choose to respond? Will the narratives portrayed elsewhere become our \"moment\" where Madison becomes another provocative story line marred with senseless acts of disorder which only serve to disrespect the rights and property of others? Or will we choose to take the higher road and show the nation that civic dissent and even acts of civil disobedience can co-exist with MPD officers who have consistently demonstrated respect for First Amendment rights and restraint in the exercise of their lawful authority?

We have the capacity to be a part of a \"movement\" rather than settle for a \"moment.\" Months prior to the outset of this tragic event, an initiative was well underway through the facilitation of the United Way seeking more thoughtful, long-term approaches to police and citizen encounters. MPD and other law enforcement agencies have been consistently meeting with not-for-profits, clergy, leaders of color, MMSD, and members of City government to establish both a dialogue and a mechanism for exploring ways in which police can be more effective in promoting trust while also examining systems that may contribute to racial disparities in our criminal justice system.

With the death of Tony Robinson came a collective sense of urgency. While the MPD was/is the most immediate object of scrutiny, the fact remains that the issues confronting Madison go well beyond the pale of this verdict or our control. Pronounced issues of poverty exacerbate feelings of despair and helplessness. Schools are not meeting the needs of all of our students. Joblessness and unskilled labor are punctuated with double digit deficits for people of color. Ever-prevalent gun violence has become the \"new\" normal plaguing our City and the news headlines. And I am not going to absolve law enforcement for whatever role we have played in being complicit in the calculus of racial disparities. Given this sobering backdrop, one can understand why there is a sense of hopelessness and desperation with those who have not enjoyed (or even had the same access to) all of the opportunities that many of us take for granted. Systems improvements borne out of intentional, long-term, collaboration is our \"best\" option for the future. Unrest like we have witnessed elsewhere in our country cannot possibly aid in constructive engagement and only holds us back. The environment for healing and reconciliation has been forged, owing to the incredible capacity of the Robinson family and their urging of the community to deal with the issues at hand with responsible activism. For their incredible sense of the \"moment\" as well as the \"movement\" taking place, the City is very beholden to the Robinson's for their capacity to speak to peace in spite of their own sense of personal loss and grief.

I have no doubt that some individuals will make a principled decision to get arrested in order to make a definitive statement. That is, in fact, a hallmark of civil disobedience and that decision is highly personal and should not be coaxed from others as the consequences will only affect the violator. Arrests CAN have long term implications which I feel duty-bound to discuss.

There are basically two kinds of unlawful behavior(s) that can lead to an \"arrest.\" There are the more benign types of violations that are classified as city ordinances. Ordinances are \"forfeitures\" or fines; so long as you pay them, they go away. In the vast majority of the demonstrations we work, we try to avoid enforcement options altogether, preferring to work WITH folks in allowing them some reasonable options prior to resorting to tickets or physical arrests. If your activity is confined to that of a city ordinance violation AND you have a valid form of identification with you, then when placed under arrest we will take you to an off-site location, write the ticket, and then release you from there. This is called the classic \"cite-and-release.\" HOWEVER, should you not have valid identification that proves who you are OR you choose to engage in additional behavior that elevates matters (i.e., lying about your name, actively resisting arrest), then \"cite-and-release\" is no longer on the table. Having no identification can lead you to jail as can being charged with a \"crime.\"

Getting charged with a city ordinance violation is expensive; but if you have identification, then at least you can be cited-and-released. The other behavior that will precipitate an arrest is a \"crime\" (whether misdemeanor or felony). This is more significant for obvious reasons: physical arrest to jail, fingerprinted and photographed, DNA swab (potentially), FBI number and an entry into CCAP (Consolidated Court Automation Programs)! CCAP is a particularly thorny issue to resolve because it has a shelf-life longer than nuclear waste! Even if the charges are dropped or the individual is acquitted of all charges, the CCAP entry does not go away (Frankly, if left to prospective unscrupulous landlords or employers, abuse of CCAP can be a mechanism for discrimination). I would strongly urge complete avoidance of getting a RAP sheet (a record of arrests and/or prosecutions)!

And now I have no doubt that people will ask about the future plans for Officer Matt Kenny. There are a number of conditions that must take place before considering his return to active duty. Since March 6th, Officer Kenny has been placed on administrative leave and taken off the streets. That status will continue until such time as an internal policy review is conducted, examining whether any of our procedures or protocols may have been violated during the course of the Robinson call. Our Professional Standards Unit conducts an independent investigation, which began some time ago, and this report is not expected to be completed for another week or so.

In closing, on the night of March 6th, I expressed my personal sense of loss to the grandmother and grandfather of Tony Robinson and subsequently met with other members of the family in the weeks that followed. As a father of two adult sons, I cannot begin to grasp at the magnitude of their loss. The difficulties that they have faced have been formidable and I hope that some measure of healing can begin.

Respectfully ~

Chief Koval\"

 

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