The family of Tony Robinson, an unarmed black teenager killed in an officer-involved-shooting in March, filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the city of Madison and Madison Police Officer, Matthew Kenny.
The suit— brought by two attorneys with Chicago civil rights firm Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law— was filed in the U.S. District Court in Madison and claims civil rights violations were made in Robinson’s shooting, and Robinson’s shooter, Kenny, was not held responsible for his actions.
“[D]espite the cries of a grieving community, the authorities, including the City of Madison, have endorsed Defendant Kenny’s actions,” the claim stated.
The plaintiff includes Robinson’s estate, which will be represented by his mother, Andrea Irwin.
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Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne announced in May Kenny would not face charges for Robinson’s death on the grounds Kenny lawfully used lethal force.
Both the Wisconsin Department of Justice and MPD conducted investigations into the incident which ultimately led to Kenny’s exoneration.
The suit, however, alleges Kenny lied to investigators about the circumstances of Robinson’s death in order to justify his use of lethal force.
“Investigators who looked into the shooting […] did not conduct an adequate or proper investigation,” the suit stated. “Instead, investigators contaminated the entire process to allow Defendant Kenny the opportunity to concoct a sequence of events that would make it seem as if his unjustified use of deadly force was actually justified.”
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The lawsuit also critisizes the city for inadequate discipline and training for situations like that of Robinson’s.
MPD declined to comment on the allegations at this time.
The suit comes following the $2.3 million settlement between the city of Madison and the family of Paul Heenan, who was killed in a 2012 officer-involved-shooting. The city admitted to no wrongdoing in the Heenan settlement.
The Robinson family alluded to the possibility of a lawsuit at a press conference following the announcement of Kenny’s non-indictment.
— Teymour Tomsyck (@Teymoreorless) May 12, 2015
Kenny, who is white, shot Robinson on March 6 after responding to a call that said Robinson was running in and out of traffic, hitting cars and attacked one of his friends.
Robinson’s death triggered weeks of protests throughout Madison which garnered national attention in the wake of several racially charged protests around the country.