A decision on whether to criminally charge the white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed biracial teen in Madison is highly anticipated.
Madison’s mayor had said the city is prepared for the possibility of large protests if Officer Matt Kenny is not charged in the March 6th death of Tony Robinson.
Police Chief Mike Koval said, given the tremendous “visceral emotions” surrounding the incident, they’ve been preparing for the reaction to the Dane County district attorney’s pending decision. “Yes, we had to plan for this, but we also had to plan for the Final Four; we planned for Mifflin Street; we planned for Halloween.”
Koval, who was sworn in as police chief one year ago this week, said while there are some outliers for any demonstration looking to harm people or property, Madison has been pretty “customer focused” in terms of facilitating the Freedom of Assembly. “Madison people … this isn’t their first rodeo. They understand how civil disobedience works and how to engage and work with the police.”
Protesters had recently blocked traffic on a busy thoroughfare in Madison for a whole day. Koval’s department tries to balance the First Amendment rights of protesters with the rights of everyone else, he said, including motorists.
The Dane County DA said he will give at least 48 hours of public notice before announcing his decision.