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.
"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.
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.
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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