Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne announced Tuesday afternoon that Madison Police Officer Matthew Kenny will not be charged in the March shooting.
“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.,” Ozanne, the first-ever black DA in the state, said in a statement to reporters.
As The Washington Post reported, Madison police were called to an apartment building on March 6th after hearing reports that a young man in the building – later identified as Robinson – had assaulted two people and run into traffic. Kenny claims “a struggle ensued” in the apartment building and he subsequently shot and killed Robinson, who was not carrying a weapon.
Officer Kenny was put on paid administrative leave following the shooting. The state’s criminal investigation division held a probe into the case before turning it over to Ozanne.
“My decision will not bring Tony Robinson Jr. back,” Ozanne said. “My decision will not end the racial disparities that exist in the justice system, in our justice system. My decision is not based on emotion. Rather, this decision is based on the facts as they have been investigated and reported to me.”
The Tuesday announcement was a blow to Madison citizens who in the days following Robinson’s death marched in the streets to call for charges against Officer Kenny.
As Robinson’s grandmother, Sharon Irwin, said at a recent protest (via ThinkProgress), “If you wear a badge, you’re supposed to protect us. But we don’t have that happening here.
“Everybody’s lives matter, but they target young black men,” she said. “They targeted my grandson and thought it would be okay. Well, it’s not.”
In recent months, there has been a growing wave of protests aimed at seeking justice for young men of color who have been victims of police violence.
Late last week, new Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the Department of Justice would investigate the Baltimore Police Department. That announcement came after protests and riots in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death revealed “the community’s rather frayed trust” in the local police force.