On March 6, 2015, unarmed biracial 19-year-old Tony Robinson was shot by police officer Matt Kenny right outside his house. Two years later, more than 50 people gathered in front of Madison East High School in remembrance of Robinson’s death.
Robinson’s mother, Andrea Irwin, spoke to the crowd at the start of the vigil, reminding everyone to stand up for justice and why they were marching.
“When you march down the street remember that at 6:30 p.m. my son was killed, he was murdered,” Irwin said. “ We are going to make sure they understand what justice for Tony Robinson means.”
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After Irwin spoke, the vigil took to the streets and marched for Robinson. The crowd called out Robinson’s name and proceeded to chant that they, too, were Robinson.
The procession spoke out against law enforcement and claimed the “cops in our hood ain’t no good.” They chanted phrases like “no more killer cops,” and demanded Kenny be reprimanded for the life he took.
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Amid cars honking to make the crowd get out of the way, they halted momentarily at the intersection of Baldwin Street and Washington Avenue to remind passersby it was the people’s duty to fight for their freedom. The crowd expressed the need for people to support one another.
The march ended when the procession arrived at Robinson’s home. His friends and family took to the microphone one last time to remind those present of his good character and how he touched others in his short life.
Robinson’s grandmother, Sharon Murray, offered some final words about Robinson’s death and urged those present to evaluate all of the evidence for themselves on a website describing the shooting incident and events following it. She urged the crowd to stand up for justice and not condone Kenny’s actions.
Murray asked individuals to stand up because Robinson’s death involved the whole community. She said if law enforcement would interact with the community, they would think twice before shooting people and that would lead to more justice for the black community.
Robinson’s family friend Sirena Flores expressed her hope the event would help bring out the truth.
“We need to create attention to cause change in a healthy and in a more peaceful way without violence, what we are doing is trying to solve an issue peacefully,” Flores said.