Another Police Officer Won’t Be Prosecuted For Doing His Job

In Madison, Wisconsin, the Dane County district attorney announced today that police officer Matthew Kenny will not face criminal charges in the shooting death of Tony Robinson last March. This should not come as a surprise. I wrote about the case here. Kenny is invariably described as a “white police officer,” as though his skin color had anything to do with it, while Robinson was an “unarmed black (or biracial) teenager.” Kenny responded to a series of 911 calls relating to the 6′ 4″ Robinson:

He cited three 911 callers whose accounts meshed with that from police. The callers described Robinson as “tweaking,” punching a friend, jumping in front of a car, punching one person trying to call 911 in the face and assaulting two people on the sidewalk. One caller feared for both his safety and Robinson’s, Ozanne said.

“‘Tony is acting insane right now,’” one of the callers told dispatchers, according to Ozanne.

The toxicology report showed that Robinson had ingested hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana and Xanax.

Kenny, who was interviewed by prosecutors, said he heard “incoherent yelling and screaming” from an upstairs apartment when he arrived, according to Ozanne [the district attorney]. Kenny said that when he went up the stairs, Robinson hit him in the head and knocked him into a wall, Ozanne said. The officer said he opened fire after fearing that he would be hit again and his gun could be taken and used to shoot him or others.

Kenny reportedly suffered a concussion in the assault. It was a clear case of self-defense, but the ACLU put out this rather contemptible statement:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin said the decision “leaves a cloud of uncertainty” over who is responsible for Robinson’s death.

“If Officer Kenny did not violate the law, then is anyone legally responsible for Mr. Robinson’s death?” Chris Ahmuty, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. “Does the criminal law protect individuals like Mr. Robinson from deadly force exercised by police officers? Are police officers above the law?”

No. Like the rest of us, they are entitled to defend themselves if they are attacked, and they are entitled to use deadly force if they reasonably fear death or great bodily injury. It is a very poor idea to assault a police officer.

Demonstrations have taken place in the wake of the district attorney’s announcement, but they seem half-hearted. I can’t imagine that anyone seriously thought officer Kenny would be charged. This photo of Robinson has been widely published:


However, today’s news stories discreetly refrain from mentioning that Robinson pled guilty to armed robbery, arising out of a home invasion in April 2014:

The good timing of a concerned citizen and Madison police resulted in the arrest of a group of alleged armed home invaders early Friday, who were fleeing the scene as police pulled up to the residence.

Madison police said in a news release Friday said four people were arrested and one suspect still was being sought.

Three men were arrested on tentative charges of armed robbery: Clifvon R. West, 18, of Milwaukee; DaKwaun R. Montgomery, 18, of Sun Prairie; and Tony T. Robinson, 18, of Madison.

The fact that officer Kenny is not being charged–a foregone conclusion–does not deserve to be a major news story. Nevertheless, it is being covered extensively by the Washington Post (linked above), the New York Times, and just about every other news outlet. This reflects the emphasis leftists are putting on “police shootings” in order to further their policy agenda.


Books to read from Power Line