Tuesday, May 12, 2015

No charges- no surprise

We could see this coming the way it was set up, but no criminal charges will be filed against Madison Police Officer Matt Kenny in the killing of Tony Robinson two months ago. I get the decision by Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne (hard to prove it's malicious or even over-the-top, given the report that Robinson allegedly slugged the officer), but that doesn't mean I'm by any means OK with this.

My biggest problem: Why does a 19-year-old unarmed biracial kid get the DEATH PENALTY with 7 shots to the head and body as the result of bad choice, and being high on shrooms and other drugs? Lots of other young adults are going to be doing very stupid choices this weekend as classes let out in this town, and I'm betting there won't be cops with their guns drawn chasing them into houses alone. This disparity is what (rightfully, in my opinion) angers some people, and think there is more to the story behind a very bad situation (I'm not so sure that's right). Looking at what was released, I don't even think Officer Kenny is a bad guy as much as there seems to be a series of bad circumstances, but there does need to be a continuing conversation on what is appropriate force, especially when it is known that the alleged perp is unarmed. In addition, with great power that comes with authority comes great responsibility, and I really have issues with people who don't understand this concept.

I hope nothing extreme comes out of this, either in the form of vandalism, or in pushback and a greater show of authoritarianism. Right now, it seems both Madison Police and many of its citizens recognize this, and I have confidence this will not rise above the "peaceful protest and heightened awareness" level. But it is all very sad, and I can't see much good coming out of this awful incident for anybody- a true tragedy.


  1. Well thought out response to the continuing set of bad circumstances taking place here and throughout the country.

    A side note might be that in a world where concealed carry is the norm, police have no choice but to think the other person may be carrying a gun.

    1. Thanks- I just feel a lot of melancholy about the whole situation. The concealed carry factor may cause some of the "shoot to kill" reaction that seems to happen far too often, but the reports I read indicated that Kenny had been told the unknown perp (Robinson) was unarmed.

      I get that being a cop is an extremely tough job and I respect that and think they deserve the pay and extra benefits they get as a result. But I also think there is a need for better training and that the badge does not excuse everything that is done. I just hope it all stays cool here.