The black unarmed teenager was killed by Madison police officer Matt Kenny on Friday evening. The shooting occurred after Kenny received calls about an alleged battery. According to Police Chief Mike Koval, Kenny pursued a suspect into an apartment before he was struck in the head. Kenny then shot the unarmed teenager who later died from the injury in a local hospital.
The scene of the crime quickly became a site of protest, as people converged and chanted “Black Lives Matter” in unison.
Tony Robinson’s death marks the latest in a string of killings that have raised concerns over racial bias and inequality in the US. Last year, the deaths of unarmed black men in Ferguson and New York triggered nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality.
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) March 9, 2015
The shooting happened on the 50th anniversary weekend of the “Bloody Sunday” march in Selma – a key turning point in the US civil rights movement.
— Paul Gottinger (@PaulGottinger) March 9, 2015
A memorial was set up outside Robinson’s family home, adorned with flowers and signs, as well as lit candles for a vigil.
As protests continued for the fourth day, people flooded the Wisconsin State Capital, holding their fists up in the sky as they called for justice.
— Manuel Rapalo (@Manuel_Rapalo) March 9, 2015
Students from University of Wisconsin-Madison and other Madison high schools have also joined the movement, staging a walkout during their morning classes and marching in support of Robinson.
— Will Kramer (@wnkramer) March 9, 2015
Officer Matt Kenny is on paid administrative leave while the Wisconsin Department of Justice conducts an investigation into his action. Madison Mayor Paul Soglin has called the shooting a “tragedy beyond description”, also noting the coinciding date of the incident with the Selma march, and has promised transparency in the investigation.
The Madison Police Department has also issued a statement in response to the incident through their home page, assuring the public of their commitment to justice:
“We acknowledge the value of all people and carry out our duties with dignity, respect, and fairness to all.”