Wis­con­sin of­fi­cer cleared in shoot­ing

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION - By James Queally james.queally@la­times.com Twit­ter: @JamesQueal­lyLAT

The Wis­con­sin po­lice of­fi­cer who shot and killed an un­armed black man in Madi­son this year will not face in­ter­nal dis­ci­pline, po­lice of­fi­cials said Wed­nes­day.

Matt Kenny, 45, was ex­on­er­ated by the Madi­son Po­lice De­part­ment’s in­ter­nal af­fairs unit in the March 6 death of Tony Robinson, ac­cord­ing to a let­ter signed by Po­lice Chief Michael Ko­val.

Pros­e­cu­tors de­clined to bring charges against Kenny last month.

The vet­eran of­fi­cer was re­spond­ing to calls that Robinson had as­saulted two peo­ple and was run­ning through traf­fic when the two clashed in­side an apart­ment build­ing.

Robinson, 20, pur­port­edly punched Kenny, who was afraid that the man would reach for a weapon, Dane County Dist. Atty. Is­mael Ozanne said last month. Kenny fired seven shots, all of which hit Robinson.

Kenny was also in­volved in a fa­tal shoot­ing in 2007, which was later ruled a “sui­cide by cop.” He was given a com­men­da­tion of valor af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into that in­ci­dent was com­pleted.

Robinson’s death was one in a string of of­fi­cer-in- volved killings that have led to civil un­rest across the coun­try and have driven a wedge be­tween po­lice and the peo­ple they are sworn to pro­tect.

Robinson’s mother, An­drea Irwin, ac­knowl­edged that her son ate hal­lu­cino­genic mush­rooms on the night of the shoot­ing but dis­puted po­lice claims that he had at­tacked any­one or posed a threat to Kenny. Irwin said she planned to file a law­suit against the de­part­ment.

“My poor baby laid there dy­ing, plead­ing for his life,” she said. “It’s dis­gust­ing.”

Demon­stra­tors staged largely peace­ful protests through­out Madi­son, the state cap­i­tal, in the days and weeks af­ter Robinson’s killing, in­clud­ing a dra­matic scene that saw thou­sands of demon­stra­tors fill the state­house and un­furl a sign that read “Black Lives Mat­ter” in­side the ro­tunda.

The shoot­ing drew a con­cerned re­sponse from lo­cal and state lead­ers.

Both Ko­val, who apol­o­gized to the ag­grieved com­mu­nity in an open let­ter shortly af­ter the shoot­ing, and Gov. Scott Walker met with Robinson’s fam­ily.

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