Community members, including Tony Robinson’s mother, Andrea Irwin, at left, take part in a peaceful protest after Tuesday’s announcement in Madison, Wis. (Mothers for Justice / CC BY-SA 3.0)

The family of 19-year-old Tony Robinson has appealed for calm after the news that Matt Kenny, the white police officer who killed the biracial teenager March 6 in Madison, Wis., will not face criminal charges. It is the latest such decision in less than a year, after similar rulings for officers in the deaths of two black men, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York.

Peaceful protests have already begun in Madison, with Robinson’s mother, Andrea Irwin, among those taking to the streets after Tuesday’s announcement.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said, “I conclude that this tragic and unfortunate death was the result of a lawful use of deadly police force and that no charges should be brought against Officer Kenny in the death of Tony Robinson Jr.”

In the week after the shooting, Madison’s black community mounted daily peaceful rallies, demanding Kenny’s prosecution for homicide.

According to police, Kenny fatally shot Robinson in an apartment house after Robinson attacked him. Kenny was responding to calls saying that Robinson had assaulted two people and was running in and out of traffic.

The Guardian reports:

Robinson’s family, who have repeatedly expressed their fear that the investigation would not return an indictment, called for calm on Monday, whilst criticising Ozanne for notifying them of the Tuesday announcement on Mother’s Day.

“My sister [Robinson’s mother Andrea Irwin] is pretty much inconsolable right now,” Turin Carter, Robinson’s uncle told the Guardian on Monday. “It’s very upsetting that that sort of thing would be done on such a meaningful day.”

Ozanne said he would be meeting with Robinson’s family immediately after the press conference.

In concluding remarks he anticipated protests to follow the decision, but warned: “True and lasting change does not come from violence but from exercising our voices and our votes.”

A march to the Wisconsin state capitol is planned for later on Tuesday, where members of Robinson’s family are expected to speak. Robinson’s death sparked weeks of protests in the city. In the days after his death, hundreds of school children from the city left their classes and staged a large occupation in the state capitol building.

Read the full report here.

–Posted by Roisin Davis


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