No Charges for Wisconsin Cop on Robinson Killing

     MADISON (CN) – The Madison, Wis., police officer who fatally shot an unarmed, 19-year-old black man will not face criminal charges, state investigators announced.
     Officer Matt Kenny, still on leave after shooting Tony Robinson on March 6, 2015, lawfully used force to subdue the teen, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne concluded.
     Ozanne announced the decision Tuesday, shortly after the state Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation released its report on the mandatory investigation of an officer-involved shooting.
     “I am concerned that recent violence around our nation is giving some in our communities a justification for fear, hatred and violence,” Ozanne said at a press conference. “I am reminded that true and lasting change does not come from violence, but from exercising our voices and our votes.”
     Kenny had been responding to a police call from Robinson’s friends that he had assaulted them and was on drugs.
     People took to the streets after Tuesday’s announcement, marching through Madison bearing banners that read “#Justice4Tony” and “Black Lives Matter.” Several protesters were reportedly arrested after blocking a roadway in the state’s capital.
     Local news outlets report Robinson’s family is displeased with the announcement but hope that protests remain peaceful.
     “When they decided Officer Matt Kenny was not going to be indicted for brutally murdering my nineteen-year-old son, they thought that this battle was over,” Robinson’s mother, Andrea Irwin, said in a video on Milwaukee-based Coalition for Justice’s Facebook page. “What they do not realize in the night that they took my son from me is that I am not the type to be defeated and I am … just beginning to fight.”
     The family reportedly plans to file a civil lawsuit against the city.
     In a blog post after the announcement, Madison Police Chief Michael Koval echoed prior calls for nonviolence and detailed the consequences that can be levied when crimes are committed in conjunction with protesting.
     “I have no doubt that some individuals will make a principled decision to get arrested in order to make a definitive statement,” Koval said. “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.”
     Koval urged protesters to take the “higher road” when it comes to civil disobedience and not let “senseless acts of disorder” rule the showing of civic dissent.
     Wisconsin Professional Police Association executive director Jim Palmer praised Ozanne’s decision in a statement released on its website.
     “The exhaustive independent and transparent investigation into this tragic incident has confirmed that Officer Kenny’s actions on the night of March 6 were lawful and in response to a deadly threat, from which Officer Kenny sustained numerous injuries, including a concussion,” the statement reads.
     The Coalition for Justice is hosting a rally and march on Wednesday in Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee, the site of the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton, another unarmed black man, by Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney.

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