No Charges for White Wisconsin Officer Who Shot, Killed Unarmed Biracial Man

Madison Police Department/Wisconsin Department of Corrections via AP
Madison Police Department/Wisconsin Department of Corrections via AP

On May 12, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said he will not seek charges against Madison Officer Matt Kenny for the March 6 shooting death of Tony Robinson.

Robinson, a 19-year-old biracial man, allegedly assaulted two people before Officer Kenny arrived on the scene and then assaulted Kenny “after he entered the apartment house.”

According to the New York Post, DA Ozanne said “Kenny used lawful deadly force in the encounter with Robinson.”

Ironically, Ozanne “is biracial but identifies as black.”

Ozanne’s announcement comes in spite rallies by the black community, calling for “Kenny [to] be fired and charged with homicide.” The rallies took place every day during the week after Robinson was shot. The announcement also followed a state Department of Justice investigation into the shooting. The state’s DOJ handed their findings over to Ozanne on March 27.

On a state level, this shooting follows an April 2014 incident in which “Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney, who is white, fatally shot 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton, who was black.” The shooting was the result of “a scuffle in a downtown park.”

Like Officer Kenny, Manney did not face charges in his shooting. However, unlike Kenny, the District Attorney who brought no charges was white. That DA said Manney acted in self-defense. Yet Manney was fired after the incident “for what Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said was improperly frisking Hamilton in the lead-up to the shooting.”

The deaths of Robinson and Hamilton are in addition to the August 2014 Michael Brown shooting—in which Officer Darren Wilson faced no criminal charges—and the more recent April 19th death of Freddy Gray—which resulted in the Baltimore riots and charges against six officers, three of whom are black.

These events have been seized upon by agitators who have prolonged tensions, instead of calmed them, and contributed to an atmosphere of violence and danger for police officers around the country.

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