LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

'Lawful Use' Of Force By Wisconsin Police Officer, DA Says

This combination made with file photos provided by the Madison, Wis., police department and Wisconsin Department of Corrections shows Madison Police officer Matt Kenny (left) and Tony Robinson, a biracial man who was killed by the officer. Kenny shot the unarmed 19-year-old in an apartment house on March 6.

Updated at 4:23 p.m. ET

A Wisconsin prosecutor said Tuesday that a police officer who shot and killed Tony Robinson, an unarmed man in Madison who witnesses say was behaving erratically, in March will not be charged in the case.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Officer Matt Kenny's shooting of Robinson, 19, on March 6 was the result of the "lawful use of deadly police force."

In a lengthy rundown of events that led to the shooting, Ozanne said Kenny had fired seven times at close range; all seven hit Robinson from front to back, he said. He said Robinson was high on drugs and had assaulted Kenny as well as others before he was shot.

The case drew attention because of the recent, high-profile deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of the police. Robinson's father is black and mother white.

Ozanne, who is himself biracial, said he "understands the pain of unjustified profiling." He said Robinson's behavior that day prompted three calls to police. Robinson struck at least two people and had physical altercations with others before police arrived, he said.

At the time of the shooting, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said police were called because Robinson had battered a pedestrian and "was jumping in and out of traffic and creating a safety hazard." The officer then went into the apartment that Robinson had entered, heard a disturbance and forced entry, Koval said. The officer was then assaulted by Robinson, the police chief said.

"The officer did draw his revolver and subsequently shot the subject," he said.

Kenny, and other officers who arrived on the scene, administered first aid, but were unable to revive Robinson, Koval said.

WISN-TV adds: "The Wisconsin Department of Justice investigated the incident under a state law that requires an outside agency to lead probes into officer-involved shootings. Ozanne said he received the last investigative reports from the agency on April 13 and has been mulling a decision since then."

As Scott reported in March, Robinson's shooting sparked outrage within the community. Protests were peaceful, in line with a request made by Robinson's family.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)