Tony Robinson: DA plans Tuesday announcement, group plans “Black-Out Wednesday” protest

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MADISON (WITI) -- Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has announced a press conference Tuesday, May 12th at 2:30 p.m. in Madison. That's when Ozanne will announce his findings in the Tony Robinson case.

Tony Robinson

Tony Robinson

19-year-old Robinson was shot and killed by Madison Police Officer Matt Kenny on March 6th.

The press conference will be held in the Dane County Public Safety Building on West Doty Street in Madison. We should learn whether criminal charges will be filed against Kenny.

The incident began on March 6th when authorities got a call that a male was yelling and jumping in front of cars, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said.

Madison Police Officer Matt Kenny

Madison Police Officer Matt Kenny

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 on Williamson Street, 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.

Koval says Robinson attacked Officer Kenny.

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

According to reports, Robinson was shot in the head, torso and arm.

Officer-involved shooting of Tony Robinson

Officer-involved shooting of Tony Robinson

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

As for Kenny, this isn't the first time he has used lethal force. In 2007, he shot and killed a man in what the police chief described as a "suicide by cop."

Kenny was exonerated of wrongdoing and received a commendation.

Following the shooting of Robinson, Kenny was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Robinson's death sparked several large protests in Madison. Five days after the incident, large groups gathered near the Capitol in Madison -- one rallying in support of Robinson, and the other in support of law enforcement.

Justice for Tony Robinson

Rally in support of law enforcement in Madison

Rally in support of law enforcement in Madison

One day after the protests, Attorney General Brad Schimel said the Department of Justice's reports on the incident would be turned over to a prosecutor in a matter of weeks.

By April 1st, Robinson's mother, Andrea Irwin said she believed Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne would thoroughly review the circumstances surrounding her son's death. But just a week later, family members cast doubt on the case, saying the DOJ's probe into Robinson's death isn't fair, because the agency is staffed by former police officers. They then called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to step in.

Madison police issued this statement on Sunday:

"(Sunday) afternoon, District Attorney Ismael Ozanne provided his 48-hour notice regarding the Tony Robinson officer-involved shooting investigation. In doing so, DA Ozanne has indicated he will deliver his findings this Tuesday.

The Madison Police Department has been diligently preparing for this announcement for several weeks. Our contingency planning has involved both logistics and multiple meetings with community leaders. It is our hope - that working together - Madison can come through these challenging days ahead without violence or property damage.

It is quite possible that there will be civil dissent, and the men and women of the MPD will - as they have done in the past - help facilitate the safe movement of people should they decide to exercise First Amendment rights.

It is our belief that Madison can endure without being fractured."

Tony Robinson National Day of Action rally

Tony Robinson National Day of Action rally

Many of those who took to the streets following this officer-involved shooting in March were students. Officials with the Madison Metro School District have sent a letter home to parents -- asking that students stay in class on Tuesday.

"We had close to a 1,000 students participate in the walkouts in March.  It`s the logistics on what happens if students leave. It`s the lesson plans the teachers will be using, resources, how to handle students who need a different space or different environment to process differently given their specific need. Each school is handling it a bit differently, but all of them have an adequate plan in place. I think it`s important that people are having the conversation not just in our classrooms but also at home," Alex Fralin, chief of schools for secondary education said.

A letter was sent home to parents of children in the Madison Metro School District by Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham on Monday -- in advance of Tuesday's announcement. That letter reads:

"As you may have heard, the District Attorney is planning to release the results of the investigation into the shooting death of Tony Robinson on Tuesday.

We know that with this announcement, many of our students will need to process what they are feeling and be able to talk about what happened in a safe, respectful and productive way. We want you to know that we are planning to provide structured opportunities at middle and high school for students to discuss what happened once the announcement is made. At the elementary level, our staff will be ready to support students and provide opportunities for conversations as issues come up.

We also know that there will be protests planned for Tuesday that our middle and high school students may be asked to participate in. We want to make sure that you have the opportunity to talk with your student about these events before Tuesday. First, we ask that you would encourage your student to stay in school during the school day as to not negatively impact their instructional time.

Second, we would encourage you to talk to your child about staying safe if they do participate in protests at any time. While we have been proud of how responsibly and safely our students have participated in events throughout the community, we also think it is important for you to talk with your child about both their rights and responsibilities as part of a protest if they choose to participate, as well as the consequences of a possible arrest.

You can find more resources to have that conversation with your student on our website.

As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for your partnership.

Jennifer Cheatham


The Young, Gifted and Black Coalition has been leading protests in this case. The group announced Monday that they'll rally Wednesday morning in front of the apartment house where Robinson was shot and killed. They want people to give up whatever they're doing that day and join them in what they're calling "Black-Out Wednesday."

"I think there are going to be many members of the community who are grieving. Folks should look out and look unto people who are in the street who are engaging in direct action as folks who they should support and be in solidarity with -- and that`s going to be very important. This is a very minor, very small inconvenience to miss work or miss school compared to the major inconvenience that the family experiences," M. Adams with the Young, Gifted and Black Coalition said.

On Tuesday, the group is encouraging folks to meet in front of the Social Justice Center on Williamson Street following Ozanne's announcement. The group will meet at 4:00 p.m., and the Robinson family will hold a news conference at 4:30 p.m.

Then, a march is planned from the Social Justice Center to the Capitol steps.

Ozanne says he will meet with Robinson's family after he makes his announcement Tuesday.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this story.

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