WATCH: Wisconsin Officials Release Dashcam Footage of Tony Robinson Shooting

Disturbing footage of a white Madison police officer fatally shooting a 19-year-old unarmed biracial man has been released by the Wisconsin department of justice, following the announcement on Tuesday that no criminal charges would be pursued in the case of Tony Robinson.

Dashcam footage shot from police officer Matt Kenny’s patrol car on 6 March shows Kenny entering the second-floor apartment that Tony Robinson shared with two friends. The officer enters alone and with his hands on his firearm. Within roughly 18 seconds, shots are fired and Kenny exits the building in a backwards motion.

According to Kenny’s account of the incident, he opened fire after being punched once by Robinson near the top of the stairs and falling into a wall. Kenny was not wearing a body camera during the incident and the dashcam only shows events outside the apartment.

Kenny told investigators he “did not know how he got to the bottom of the stairs”, according to an account delivered by Dane County district attorney Ismael Ozanne on Tuesday.

The officer described hearing “incoherent yelling and screaming” inside the apartment, after 911 calls were made claiming Robinson had assaulted people on the street and was running in and out of traffic. Robinson had retreated to the apartment and was there alone when Kenny arrived. The officer had been informed the teenager was probably unarmed and intoxicated.

The footage shows Kenny firing a single shot from outside the apartment. Investigators determined that seven shots were fired, all at close range, during the encounter.

Robinson’s feet appear at the bottom of the stairwell almost as soon as Kenny stumbles out. They appear motionless.

“Stop right there! Don’t move!” Kenny shouts.

Almost instantly, two other police officers run into shot. Kenny shouts “there’s somebody upstairs, there’s somebody upstairs”. One of the officers steps over Robinson’s body into the apartment building and shouts “MPD”. One of the officers radios for an ambulance.

Kenny told investigators that he rendered aid after determining Robinson had no weapon, but the dashcam video cuts just as Kenny is seen putting on gloves with another officer seen crouched over his body shining a flashlight. It is unclear if Robinson is already dead at this point.

The 19-year-old’s death sparked days of protest in Madison. Ozanne announced on Tuesday that Kenny would face no charges as the “tragic and unfortunate event was the result of a lawful use of deadly police force”.

The Wisconsin attorney general has also released a number of investigative files produced in relation to the case, which were handed to Ozanne before the decision not to prosecute was made.

On Tuesday hundreds gathered in front of the building where Robinson was shot, to protest Ozanne’s decision not to bring charges against Kenny.

Addressing the crowd of roughly 300 people, 18-year-old JT Ruffin, an African American senior at Sun Prairie high school, said Ozanne’s decision was expected.

“I knew he wasn’t going to get indicted, but seeing all you people out here … I can tell that Madison is ready for a change,” Ruffin said. “I don’t see people out here who are going to loot. I don’t see people here who are going to riot. I see people who are ready for a change. Madison is going to be the change for this movement.”

The protest was organized by the city’s Young, Gifted and Black (YGB) coalition, which formed in the wake of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and has been pressing for policy changes in the city. Protesters marched from Robinson’s apartment building to the country courthouse, where they held a people’s trial of Kenny, and proceeded to mock the city jail.

One of the YGB’s members, M Adams, said: “If Matt Kenny doesn’t go to jail, no one should go to jail.”

The group echoed previous demands for the UN to step in, saying the investigation into Robinson’s death was not independent. YGB lead organizer Brandi Grayson specified that the group’s goal is not simply to establish a community review board for the police department. “We need power to hire and fire. To determine, to set priorities, to set policies, and to say what kind of police model we want in our communities.”

Officers from the Madison Police Department, the Wisconsin State Police and the Dane County Sheriff’s office began removing protesters from the intersection of Doty and Carroll Streets starting around 3:00 pm, several hours after the action began. Officer Dexheimer, Public information officer for the Madison Police Department, spoke with the Guardian in a phone interview.

“Command post had made a decision that with rush hour coming up, it was time to clear the intersection.” A block from the state’s capitol, Dexheimer described the corner that protesters had occupied as “a major artery.” “

“An announcement was made that it was an unlawful assembly, and it just becamse a matter of public safety and moving traffic through there. On a week day, there’s tons and tons of traffic thorugh there. It seemed reasonable to have given it that much time.”

Police said 28 people were arrested. Many of these were performing civil disobedience and offered no resistance as far as this reporter could see. Officers removed protesters who stood shoulder to shoulder or sat side by side in the street. One of those arrested was a woman who is eight months pregnant who had previously been blocking one of the entrances to the jail.

As those chained together in front of one entrance were released, M Adams said the action had met the group’s goals. “We were successful in stopping anyone from going into jail for three hours and fifty minutes.” She also offered her thoughts on the police response. “I think it’s a terrible idea that the police are supposed to be here to stop people from demonstrating their rights. If they want to be helpful to us, they should stop systems and power structures from being violent towards out communities.”


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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