Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Tony Robinson’s family says case unfair, MPD too involved

Marissa Haegele

A pot of red flowers now sits on the once blood-stained steps where 19-year-old Tony Robinson was shot and killed by Madison Police officer Matthew Kenny one month ago.

A message attached reads: “We don’t have to go anywhere to obtain the truth. We only need to be still and things will reveal themselves in the clear water of our hearts. We pray for that justice for you.”

Flowers, crosses and other items were left on the steps where Tony Robinson was shot. Messages in his remembrance are written in chalk on the siding of the house.
Rachael Lallensack/The Badger Herald

At a press conference outside the Dane County Courthouse Monday, Robinson’s family expressed concern over the justness of the investigation Monday morning.


Protesters met outside the house on Williamson Street where Tony Robinson died to march to the courthouse.

The crowd was much smaller than past demonstrations, consisting mostly of family and close friends. Tony Robinson’s 10-year-old sister, Kyla, stood at the front of the group holding a banner that read “black lives matter.”

Jerome Flowers, the Robinson family’s spokesperson, said MPD and those affiliated with the investigation “frame it as fair and independent.” but that is not the case.

“This is not a fair process. This is not a just process,” Flowers said. “What we know about how this case has been handled so far is that it is unjust.”

He alleged MPD was able to choose who they wanted to oversee the investigation and worked with the Department of Justice “on every step of the investigation.”

However, Wisconsin is one of the few states to require an outside, independent investigation prior to an internal police department investigation following officer-involved shootings.

Law for independent investigations of officer-involved shootings put to test in Tony Robinson case

The bill, introduced last year in a bipartisan effort by Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison and Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, requires the victim’s family to be fully informed of litigation options or what Flowers called “critical services,” however the Robinson family claims they have not seen such assistance.

“The family calls on the District Attorney, Ismael Ozanne, to practice what his office preaches,” Flowers said.

In response to open records requests, MPD released a collection of documents and incident reports involving both Kenny and Robinson last week, none of which pertained to the officer-involved shooting on the evening of March 6.

Tony Robinson’s family said they felt, while the release of documents was legal, it was unethical and poorly timed, Flowers said.

MPD Chief Michael Koval released a statement on his blog following today’s statement from the family stating that it was in no way an effort to skew the investigation.

“In fact, in all of the public appearances or media requests that have been fulfilled since March 6, I have never discussed any matters–personal or private–of Mr. Robinson except to thank the family, repeatedly, for their willingness to urge responsibility and restraint in the midst of their own personal loss and grief,” Koval said.

However, the family pointed out that some documents involved Robinson’s father who shares his name.

In a statement from organization Young, Gifted and Black. sent out prior to the news conference, Flowers said the family now worried Tony Robinson’s character was in question, not the incident alone.

“We worry that the MPD and other officials are setting up a kangaroo court,” Flowers said. “Tony’s character is what’s being put on trial.”

These new concerns from the family come after they expressed their trust in DCI early on in the investigation.

In their first news conference appearance in the days following Robinson’s death, his uncle, Turin Carter, said he hoped biases from both the family and law enforcement could be set aside and investigators would act “strictly as fact-finders.”

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