Shooting of Tony Robinson

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Shooting of Tony Robinson
Dane County Wisconsin incorporated and unincorporated areas Madison highlighted.svg
Location of Madison, within Dane County, and Dane County within Wisconsin
DateMarch 6, 2015 (2015-03-06)
Time6:30 p.m.
LocationWilliamson Street, Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
DeathsTony Robinson
ChargesNone filed

The shooting of Tony Terrell Robinson Jr. occurred on March 6, 2015, in Madison, Wisconsin. Robinson, an unarmed 19-year-old man, was fatally shot by 45-year-old Matthew Kenny, a Wisconsin police officer, during an altercation that occurred while Kenny was responding to reports that Robinson was jumping in front of cars and had attempted to strangle someone.[1] On May 12, 2015, the shooting was determined to be justified self-defense by the Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne.[2] The death was protested by the Black Lives Matter movement; Robinson was biracial and of African American descent.


On March 6, 2015, the police received reports that 19-year-old Tony Robinson was yelling and jumping in front of cars. Robinson had reportedly been running in and out of the street while shouting at bystanders. Some of the reports were from friends of the suspect, who were concerned by his erratic behavior and called for help.[3]

Officer Matt Kenny responded to the calls at 6:30 pm. Upon arrival, Officer Kenny said he heard a loud yelling and banging from an upstairs apartment.[4] Kenny also claimed that immediately upon reaching the top of a flight of stairs, Robinson attacked Kenny without warning, knocking his head into the wall. Kenny claimed that Robinson continued to swing at him. Kenny then fired his weapon seven times, mortally wounding Robinson. Kenny claimed that he performed CPR on Robinson, and Robinson was taken to a hospital but later died. Robinson was unarmed. Kenny suffered a concussion and a sprained knee from the assault.[5][6] [7]

Robinson was determined post-mortem to have ingested Xanax, psilocybin mushrooms, and THC hours before the shooting. The drugs may have contributed to his erratic behavior.[8]


Court documents show that Robinson was on probation after pleading guilty to armed robbery in 2014. This stemmed from a home-invasion robbery in which Robinson was caught by police fleeing the scene, armed with a fake, but realistic-looking gun.[9]

In 2007, Officer Matt Kenny had shot and killed Ronald Brandon, who was standing on the porch of his own home, holding what was later learned was a pellet gun.[10]


The Black Lives Matter movement has protested Robinson's death.[11][12][13] Some 1,500 protesters, mostly high school students who had staged a walk-out, filled the state capitol on March 9 to protest Robinson's death, yelling the "Hands up, don't shoot" chant through the capital building.[14]

The Wisconsin Department of Justice investigated the Robinson shooting, as required by Wisconsin law.[15] Robinson's uncle said that the family had faith that the Division of Criminal Investigation will "handle [the investigation] with integrity".[16]

On May 12, 2015, Dane County District Attorney, Ismael Ozanne, announced that Officer Matt Kenny would not face charges for the shooting of Tony Robinson. The shooting was labeled a "lawful use of deadly police force."[17]

In February, 2017, Robinson's family accepted a $3.35 million settlement from the city, to settle a civil rights lawsuit. [18]


  1. ^ Savidge, Nico. Police tapes: Officers told of battery involving Tony Robinson before shooting. Wisconsin State Journal. March 7, 2015. Retrieved on March 9, 2015.
  2. ^ Berman, Mark (May 12, 2015). "Madison police officer won't be charged for shooting Tony Robinson". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  3. ^ "Wisconsin Activists to Continue Protests After Cop Avoids Charges in Killing of Tony Robinson". Democracy Now!.
  4. ^ Johnson, M. Alex. "Tony Robinson Shooting: No Charges for Wisconsin Police Officer". CNN. Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  5. ^ Fieldstadt, Elisha; Emmanuelle, Saliba; Chuck, Elizabeth. "Black Teen Tony Robinson Shot Dead by Cop in Madison, Wisconsin, Was Unarmed". NBC News. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  6. ^ Catherine Shoichet and Jethro Mullen, CNN (May 12, 2015). "Tony Robinson case: No charges for officer". CNN.
  7. ^ Karen Rivedal - Wisconsin State Journal (March 7, 2016). "Tony Robinson supporters mark 1-year anniversary of Madison teen's fatal shooting by police".
  8. ^ Laughland, Oliver; Sullivan, Zoe (March 13, 2015). "Tony Terrell Robinson was shot dead by Madison police. This is how it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  9. ^ "Wisconsin Shooting Victim, 19, Was Convicted Last Year For Role In Armed Home Invasion". The Smoking Gun. March 7, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  10. ^ "Officer's past fatal shooting still disturbs victim's family". WKOW. March 13, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  11. ^ Spicuzza, Mary; Glauber, Bill. "Madison DA decides no charges warranted in Robinson shooting". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  12. ^ Beleckis, Jonah (March 8, 2015). "Tony Robinson: Don't forget his name". The Daily Cardinal. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  13. ^ "#StopKillingUs". Black Lives Matter. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  14. ^ Schneider, Pat (March 9, 2015). "UW, high school students fill Capitol rotunda to protest Tony Robinson shooting". The Cap Times. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  15. ^ Fieldstadt, Elisha (March 8, 2015). "Tony Robinson Shooting: Protests Continue in Madison, Wisconsin". NBC News. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  16. ^ Savidge, Nico. Family of Tony Robinson says they have faith in investigation of fatal shooting. Wisconsin State Journal. March 10, 2015. Accessed on March 11, 2015.
  17. ^ M. Alex Johnson (May 12, 2015). "Tony Robinson Shooting: No Charges for Wisconsin Police Officer". NBC News. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  18. ^

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