Madison’s self-titled Young Gifted and Black group said in an email statement the group will not hold a demonstration Tuesday following Dane County district attorney Ismael Ozanne’s announcement regarding whether to charge Madison police officer Matt Kenny with the death of 19-year-old black teenager Tony Robinson.
The group is calling on community members to use Tuesday to remember Robinson and “reflect on the complex ways state violence impacts Black lives.”
Ozanne plans to announce his decision Tuesday afternoon, no sooner than 2:00, but the specific time has not yet been disclosed. Ozanne is following through on his promise to give 48 hours’ notice before revealing his decision in the case.
The March 6 shooting occurred at a Madison apartment after Kenny responded to a call that Robinson had been running in and out of traffic and had assaulted someone. Police have said Robinson, who was unarmed, assaulted the officer and was shot soon after.
In a blog post March 16, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval wrote he’s “outraged” people would judge officer Kenny without any facts about what actually happened. Koval said he has known Kenny for more than a dozen years; he highlighted Kenny’s 45 commendations for his work on the Madison police force.
Koval said, nationally, more than 96 percent of the contacts between police and citizens are dealt with through presence and professional communication. Deadly force is much less than one percent of all police-citizen contacts.
YG&B said they will resume their protests on what is being called Black Out Wednesday, “the first day of action in Black Spring, a national movement for Black Liberation.”
The group is asking workers, students, families, and community members who share their vision to walk out on Wednesday.
Madison schools superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said students should not to skip school following the DA’s decision in the case. Many students have ditched school in past protests. Cheatham has emailed parents of students asking them to talk to their kids and discourage them from cutting class.