No Charges Against Matt Kenny Are Being Filed For The Death Of Tony Robinson, Dane County Announces
After months of protest, waiting and wondering, the official word has finally come down — according to Dane County, Wisconsin DA Ismael Ozanne, there will be no charges filed in the Tony Robinson police shooting. This means that Officer Matt Kenny of the Madison Police Department will not face any criminal punishment for fatally shooting 19-year-old Tony Robinson on March 6. Kenny has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting, according to CNN.
This news doesn't assure that there won't be any legal proceedings over Robinson's death, to be clear — it's still possible that civil charges could be brought against Kenny — but there's assuredly no jail time in his future, and it's unclear at this juncture whether or not Robinson's family will pursue further action.
The decision was announced by Ozanne in an afternoon press conference, and the gravity of the occasion was pretty palpable. it was a little late starting, and when Ozanne entered and began speaking to the assembled media, he didn't exactly look comfortable. He spoke slowly, at times haltingly, frequently pausing to dab the sweat from his face with a handkerchief. Referring to his own life as a biracial person of color, and his family's history in the civil rights movement, and his sympathy for the family of Tony Robinson at length, it took quite a while for things to turn to actual discussion of the incident, and further still for Kenny's fate to be made clear.
Ozanne laid out his understanding of the incident in painstaking detail, alleging that Robinson had ingested a drug (his family acknowledged he'd taken psychedelic mushrooms on the day of his death), punched a 911 caller, chased cars and blocked traffic, and caused damage to the inside of an apartment building, which was where Kenny encountered him.
Ozanne said that Kenny fired seven shots at Robinson — all of which struck him front to back, he emphasized — in three seconds, because he was being advanced on, and feared he was about to lose balance at the top of a stairway.
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.
This will prove to be a hotly discussed outcome, no doubt — with the nation still in the midst of an ongoing, national-scale controversy regarding police use of force, and more protests expected ahead in Robinson's memory, it's safe to say that we'll be hearing more about this case in the days and weeks to come.