Wisconsin officer cleared in shooting
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.