Reactions To The Tony Robinson Decision & Ismael Ozanne Referencing Martin Luther King Are Anguished
Tuesday afternoon brought some very big news which has spurring fervent discussion all over mainstream and social media alike — Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne announced that Madison Police Department Officer Matt Kenny will face no charges for the shooting death of 19-year-old Tony Robinson, with Ozanne describing the incident as "tragic and unfortunate," but also a "lawful use of deadly police force." And, just as you might expect, many have pretty strong feelings about it, as evidenced by the myriad reactions to the Tony Robinson decision.
Opinions aren't unanimous regarding this case, of course — not that they ever are when it comes to high-profile police use of force cases, which often end up galvanizing people into distinct, vehement camps. On the one hand, you have ardent supporters of law enforcement and the difficult, murky situations such jobs entail, and on the other, oft-marginalized communities of color calling for an affirmation of their own value, and an end to police brutality. Or, to put it in simpler terms: "Black Lives Matter."
These aren't mutually exclusive positions, obviously — plenty of Americans of color knowingly depend on the police for safety and security, and there shouldn't be any excuse for good cops tolerating abuses by their colleagues. In any case, it's an issue that stokes a whole lot of passion, and that was on full display following the announcement.
Some people focused in on Ozanne's uncomfortable demeanor straight-away, commenting on his frequent handkerchief sweat-mopping during his lengthy remarks.
However, this might not be indicative of anything. Wisconsin state representative Mandela Barnes tweeted about Ozanne, implying he's just a sweaty guy.
When it came to the decision itself, however, things aren't so lighthearted — there's a tremendous amount of angst and resignation, and protests are ongoing.
The Wisconsin ACLU has also put out a statement on the decision, questioning what Robinson's rights were in the face of police force, and expressing dismay at the "cloud of uncertainty" it has created.
A number of people of Twitter — black progressives and activists in particular — were very upset by Ozanne's invocation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the end of his speech.
Some people did believe, however, that Ozanne turned in a good performance, in light of the obviously pressurized nature of the case.