Officer Matt Kenny

Officer Matt Kenny

Madison Police Officer Matt Kenny has been cleared of any wrongdoing almost three months after shooting Tony Robinson, 19, to death during a struggle.

The Madison Police Department’s internal review of the officer-involved shooting shows Kenny, who is white, acted according to department policy on March 6th when he shot the unarmed biracial teen, who was under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The use of deadly force is authorized when an officer “reasonably believes a lesser degree of force would be insufficient in defense of oneself when there is reasonable cause to believe one is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.”

District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, who is Wisconsin’s first black district attorney, announced May 12th that he would not be criminally charging Kenny in the fatal shooting.

A Department of Justice investigation conducted by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation found Kenny shot Robinson during a confrontation in the stairway of a Madison apartment building, after Robinson attacked the officer. Ozanne found it was a justified use of lethal force.

Wisconsin Professional Police Association Executive Director Jim Palmer, who is also Kenny’s attorney, said in a statement (below) he’s pleased that both the internal investigation and the criminal investigation concluded that Officer Kenny’s actions were appropriate, lawful, and in accordance with the rules governing his conduct.

“We believe the Madison Police Department’s determination to clear Officer Matt Kenny of any policy violations for the fatal shooting of Tony Robinson is the correct result. Several law enforcement agencies were involved in the extensive investigations that have been conducted in this matter, and we are pleased that both the internal investigation and the criminal investigation concluded that Officer Kenny’s actions were appropriate, lawful, and in accordance with the rules governing his conduct. Nonetheless, those facts do not diminish our recognition of the loss that the Robinson family has suffered, and we again extend to them our deepest condolences.

“Officer Kenny looks forward to being able to continue his service to the people of this city, and the WPPA will work with the Madison Police Department to transition him back into police service in a way that delicately balances the sensitivities of the community, the department’s needs, and the rights of an officer whose actions have been carefully examined and deemed appropriate.”

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