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“All lives matter:” Tony Robinson’s uncle encourages protesters to remain peaceful

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MADISON (WITI/CNN) -- The family of 19-year-old Tony Robinson, the man shot and killed by a Madison police officer on Friday, March 6th addressed the media in front of the home where the shooting occurred on Monday afternoon. They are pushing for peaceful protests.

Tony Robinson

Tony Robinson

"Our hands are stained with the blood of my nephew, and we are all left to deal with the aftermath. This is a bigger issue than Tony. This is truly a universal issue," Robinson's uncle, Turin Carter told reporters on Monday.

Carter stressed that his family isn't anti-police, but said Tony Robinson's death "highlights a universal problem with law enforcement and how its procedures have been carried out, specifically in regards to the systematic targeting of young black males."

"I want to make this clear -- law enforcement is necessary," Carter said.

Carter says the problem goes beyond the chants of "black lives matter" that have already been used at protests over the case. Robinson was bi-racial.

"I encourage everybody to show support regardless of race because this is truly a universal issue. We don't want to stop at just 'black lives matter,' because all lives matter," he said.

Carter says the family is cooperating with the Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation, and they're hoping for an unbiased investigation.

"We don't want biases involved. We don't want anybody else's...we want them to act strictly as fact finders," Carter said.

Carter says the family understands the police are necessary and in many cases heroic, but he says that doesn't excuse what happened to his nephew, called "Terrell" by family.

"He was a good, kindhearted kid. We don't think Terrell is a saint. We think he is a human being. A 19-year-old," Carter said.

Robinson's family members say they're not ready to comment on whether Officer Kenny should be criminally charged.

Carter thanked folks for their support, and he asked that supporters keep things peaceful.

Officer Matt Kenny

Officer Matt Kenny

The incident started Friday -- when authorities got a call that a male was yelling and jumping in front of cars, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said.

A little later, the dispatcher says, “Apparently Tony hit one of his friends. No weapons seen.”Dispatchers identified him as Tony Robinson, according to 911 audio obtained by WKOW.

About four minutes later, the dispatcher says, “I got another call for the same suspect at [the same address]. He tried to strangle another patron.”

About 30 seconds later, an unidentified officer says, “Shots fired, shots fired.”

When Officer Matt Kenny went to the apartment, he heard some commotion and forced his way in, Koval said.

“Once inside the home the subject involved in this incident — the same one allegedly out in traffic and that had battered someone — assaulted my officer,” Koval said.

After that, according to the chief, “The officer did draw his revolver and subsequently shot the subject.”

Even Koval said it’s understandable why protesters are outraged.

“He was unarmed. That’s going to make this all the more complicated for the investigators, the public, to accept, to understand…why deadly force had to be used,” he said.

Koval says he's confident the shooting was not racially motivated.

"If I have or had rogue cops among us, I feel confident that their very peer group would turn them in," Koval said.

Robinson did have a criminal history. Wisconsin Circuit Court documents indicate Robinson pleaded guilty in December to an armed robbery that occurred last April.

The deadly confrontation has made Madison, Wisconsin, the latest epicenter of protests. Monday marked the fourth straight day of demonstrations. Following weekend protests, demonstrators rallied at the Capitol on Monday morning. A Department of Administration spokesman tells FOX6 News there were 1,500 people present at the Capitol rally. Meanwhile, students staged a walkout at the city’s East High School after classes. A vigil was held in Robinson's honor in Madison on Sunday.

Tony Robinson Capitol rally

Tony Robinson Capitol rally

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Students protest shooting of Tony Robinson in Madison

Tony Robinson vigil in Madison

Tony Robinson vigil in Madison

Per Wisconsin law, this officer-involved shooting is being investigated by an outside agency. The Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation is leading this investigation. Officer Matt Kenny has been placed on administrative leave.

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12 comments

  • wow

    All lives matter especially the law officers honour their lives on the line everyday..this 19 year old man…had a choice. .he chose to challenge the law and this was not the first time Tony had been on tje wrong side of the law..he was an armed robber…now I believe that is considered a Violent crime. I personally would not be real proud of my kid if they did anything remotely close to that…it isnt a slap on the hand kind of criminal act…too bad all this family and friends weren’t around to tell Tony to get with the program and clean up his act…a little too late now

    • Yvette

      Great statement Turin (Beekie). I’m encouraged by your ability to convey this powerful and articulate statement in the midst of such a difficult time. God Bless you, I’m praying for you (Andy, Tony Sr., Sharon, Gary, LoLo, Erik and Sven….).
      As for the negative commentators, it’s okay to support law enforcement, I do as well because the opportunity to wear a badge requires a higher level of accountability for your actions than others. For the vast majority of police officers, that holds true and they are heroic. Then there’s always the ones that “graduated” in the lower precentile of the police academy. Like any other profession, those lack luster, lower achievers can throw off the curve. The difference here, lives sway in the balance. If you don’t empathize with a family that suffers in these circumstances, you’re living in an alternate reality. There is a mental health diagnosis for that and medication that can help you.

  • Andrea

    They should have let Turin speak from the very beginning. He is by far the most logical voice in this situation.

  • grunt

    If the police are so bad, so evil, so racist, and so anxious to kill a black man for no reason, shouldn’t we just be cooperative and polite to the police no matter what?

  • Mike Johnson

    the “teen” shouldve been in jail he was convicted of armed robbery. only given probation as a sentence. if the justice system did its job he wouldnt be dead

  • H. Mueler

    At least Mr. Carter said “all lives matter”. This is a change from others and “black lives matter”, which is simply racist, implying that other than black lives don’t matter. Hearing his statement, I can honestly say that I am sorry for the family’s loss. However, a rigid, immutable fact does remain, that being, if you attack a cop or any armed person, you are very likely to get shot. People have to leave other people alone and not attack them, not rob them, not invade their homes. It will make for a longer life span. My people achieve this by bringing up their children to realize that stealing is wrong, beating on people is wrong, and if you want something, you have to work for it, not take it from someone else. It is not complicated.

    • darshaneeander

      Spartan coalescing can impose a bridge, or heighten seamless interludes. Once admitted, fluctuating gatherers clutch Pentecostal, or indecent wanderings pass verbally towards autonomy. Intensify this towards appreciatory enumerations and I must admit to recent monstrosities gathered atop precipices. Erstwhile it is quite indubitable to remunerate iconoclastically. Incidentally bringing qualified stanchions towards blithering at ones own counterrevolutionary withdrawals. Therefore before proceeding in a straightforward paradigm I would prevail with an innermost symbiotic directive. However, in assessing the podiatric width and breadth, I am left reassuring my inner simplicity towards the awkward fortitude of my pious ancestry. In closing I must reiterate my sense of juxtaposition. Heretofor reiterating insidious and iconoclastic Ephesians. Malevolence and fortitude cannot quantify nor reciprocate if so allowed. Upon further and finer remonstrations, it is often established as rhetorical ruminations.

  • Cody

    It is always so upsetting to hear about the loss of a life… especially someone as young as Tony. But stepping back and taking emotion out of our decisions can all lead us to a very clear understanding that if you CHOOSE to live a criminal life and you CHOOSE to assault a police officer, this is unfortunately one of the many horrible consequences. So quickly we defend a convicted criminal, and turn on those who put there life on the line to protect us and enforce the laws that we should all abide by.

    Some say that his past is irrelevant. I disagree. I believe it is crucial to discovering who Tony was. Although he may have been “kind hearted” amongst his friends and family, someone capable of armed robbery (over a video game and a TV none the less) is not exactly what I would consider “kind hearted”. When he is defended by “hanging out with the wrong crowd” it disappoints me. A “kind hearted” person would have the ability to say NO, I am not going to commit armed robbery.

    Lets take a step back from our anguish and look at how skewed our view on this situation is. The police officer who shot Tony is a veteran police officer with a history of doing his job to above par standards. He was dispatched to handleThis police officer is being put on trial for the use of deadly force to defend his life after being attacked by a convicted criminal. He now has to live with this death on his hands and his career may be in jeopardy.
    Now lets look at Tony. He chose to rob somebody with the potential use of deadly force for an XBOX and a TV. He essentially walked away without any real form of punishment.

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