Madison Police Officer will not be charged in teen's death
MADISON (WREX) -
The Dane County District Attorney said no charges will be brought against Madison Police Officer Matt Kenny in the shooting death of a 19-year-old man back in March.
"I conclude this tragic death was a lawful use of police force. No charges should be brought against Officer Kenny against Tony Robinson," said District Ismael Ozanne.
Ozanne said, "My decision will not bring Tony Robinson back. My decision is not based on emotion. Rather, this decision is based on the facts that have been investigated and reported to me."
On March 6, police said Kenny shot 19-year-old Tony Robinson in an apartment house in March after Robinson attacked him.
Kenny was responding to calls that Robinson had assaulted two people and was running in traffic.
The prosecutor said Tuesday that the officer went into the apartment building and believed Robinson was assaulting someone. When he got within a few steps, he yelled, "Madison Police," said Ozanne. There was silence and then Robinson struck the officer with a closed fist and knocked him back into a wall, said Ozanne. The officer hit the wall with the side of his body and head.
"He stated Robinson continued to come toward him, swinging at him," said Ozanne. "He said he was afraid he would fall backwards on the stairs and he would lose consciousness and his firearm would be taken."
Ozanne said Robinson was shot 7 times by the police officer.
"I believe it is reasonable to conclude all shots had been fired within a three second time span and hit Robinson from front to back," said Ozanne.
Tony Robinson was still conscious in the stairwell after the shooting as the officer requested an ambulance, the prosecutor said.
"A young man lost his life far too soon," said Ozanne. "Now whether we are policing, teaching or parenting, when we use violence to control, we do so at a tremendous cost. Although Tony Robinson was over 6-feet tall, we must remember he was still a young man. I have privately extended my condolences to Tony Robinson's mother."
Wisconsin law requires that each law enforcement agency has a policy for investigating officer-involved shootings. At least two investigators must be part of the investigation, neither can be from the department in question.
In Dane County, there has been a written policy of this nature in place before the state law took effect. The department has complied with the policy, said Ozanne.
"I am a man who understands the pain of unjustified profiling. It is through this lens that I approach my leadership responsibilities," said Ozanne.
The prosecutor said he went through 800 pages of reports before making his decision. He outlines part of the evidence in the case during the news conference, most specifically what witnesses told dispatchers before the officer arrived and exchanged fire. The witness statements were corroborated during the investigation, said Ozanne.