No Charges for Madison Cop Who Killed 19-Year-Old Tony Robinson Jr.

By Julianne Hing May 11, 2015

UPDATE 5/12/15 4:18pm ET: Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne announced Tuesday afternoon that he will file no criminal charges in the death of Tony Robinson Jr. against Madison police officer Matt Kenny after concluding, "that this tragic and unfortunate death was the result of a lawful use of deadly police force." 


Ozanne said that in his two-month investigation he learned that on the night Robinson, a 19-year-old biracial teen, was killed, bystanders and Tony Robinson’s friends had called 911 to report that Robinson was charging at people, walking into the street and in front of cars, and attempting to choke strangers. A toxicology report later found shrooms, marijuana, and Xanax in his system. 

Robinson entered an apartment, and Kenny, responding to three 911 calls about Robinson’s erratic behavior, entered the home with his gun drawn and got into a physical altercation with Robinson at the top of the stairs of the apartment. Kenny was inside the home for 20 seconds before he exited the building walking backwards, appearing to lose his balance. "At this time he is seen firing one shot while outside the residence," Ozanne said in his press conference. "Tony Robinson’s feet appear almost instantly in the doorway after Kenny is seen exiting the residence."

Kenny fired seven shots total in approximately three seconds. "All seven shots hit Tony Robinson Jr. at close range," a fact confirmed by an autopsy, Ozanne said. "All bullets hit Robinson from front to back."

Kenny said because Robinson had punched him already, he feared that the teen might punch him again and knock him out, and take his firearm to kill him and others. 

Ozanne, who is biracial, underscored his own racial identity as well as his family’s civil rights pedigree. His mother, Ozanne said during the press conference, was a member of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee and participated in Freedom Summer.

He said in making this decision he held himself to a "reasonable doubt standard," referring to the legal standard of what he could prove in court beyond a reasonable doubt. 


Wisconsin prosecutor Ismael Ozanne will announce Tuesday the results of a two-month-long investigation into the death of Tony Robinson, a 19-year-old biracial teen who was killed by Madison police officer Matt Kenny on March 6. Ozanne has also indicated that he’ll announce whether criminal charges will be filed against Kenny. 

On March 6, Kenny responded to a call of a man acting erratically and possibly violently. Robinson had taken mushrooms, and his friends had called the police with the hopes of getting help for him, reports The Guardian. Kenny arrived at the home Robinson was staying in, and forced his way inside, and Robinson reportedly assaulted Kenny, according to Madison police chief Mike Koval. The incident ended with gunshots. Robinson was hit in the head, torso, and upper body, NBC reported.

Wisconsin is the first state in the country to require independent investigations in the wake of fatal police shootings. But independence, as stipulated by the state law, has not ensured that victims’ families find the justice they seek. 

The investigation announcement will be made in a 2:30pm press conference in Madison, Fox6 reported. Young, Gifted and Black, the coalition which has led the public campaign for justice in Robinson’s death, has pledged to protest Wednesday in front of the home where Robinson was killed.