By Chuck Ross
A Madison, Wisc. police officer will not be charged in the fatal March 6 shooting of 19-year-old Tony Robinson Jr., Dane County district attorney Ismael Ozanne announced Tuesday.
Robinson — who had a criminal history which included armed robbery — was high on mushrooms, marijuana and Xanax when he went on a violent rampage in which he punched friends, chased bystanders, and, ultimately, slugged 45-year-old Madison police officer Matthew Kenny.
Kenny shot Robinson seven times in a three second span, Ozanne stated.
Ozanne, who, like Robinson, is bi-racial, said that 911 callers stated that “Tony was tweaking” and that he was going “crazy.”
Toxicology reports showed that Robinson had marijuana, Xanax, and psilocybin mushrooms in his system.
According to Ozanne, Kenny told investigators that after he followed Robinson into an apartment after responding to the calls, he came into contact with Robinson at the top of a stairwell. Robinson punched Kenny in the head with a closed fist, the officer stated. The blow knocked Kenny into the wall and Robinson continued swinging. That put Kenny on his heels, and he said that he said that he was afraid of being knocked unconscious and having his service weapon stolen and used against him.
Kenny’s seven shots all hit Robinson at close range and in the front of his body.
“I conclude that this tragic and unfortunate death was the result of the lawful use of deadly police force and that no charges should be brought against Officer Kenny in the death of Tony Robinson Jr.,” Ozanne stated.
He also addressed some of the unrest that occurred in Madison after Robinson’s death and that has occurred in other cases such as the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and the recent death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.
“I am concerned that recent violence around our nation is giving some in our communities a justification for fear, hatred, and violence,” Ozanne said. “I am reminded that true and lasting change does not come from violence but from exercising our voices and our votes.”