Carrying signs that read "Black Lives Matter," protesters marched in Wisconsin on Saturday over the fatal shooting by a veteran police officerof an unarmed 19-year-old black man.
Tony Terrell Robinson Jr. was shot by Madison Police Officer Matt Kenny at around 6:30 p.m. Friday after Kenny followed Robinson and forced his way inside an apartment, police said. Police said Kenny was looking for Robinson after getting reports that a man was jumping in front of cars and who assaulted someone. He followed Robinson to an apartment, forced his way inside after hearing a disturbance, and fired after he was attacked, police said.
Some protesters who marched in Madison Saturday called Robinson’s death a murder.
"The message is that we will not stand for the status quo of injustice," demonstrator Brandi Grayson told NBC station WMTV. "We have a black boy, viciously murdered by MPD, they immediately framed it as if he provoked the murder — and as if he deserved the murder."
Madison Police Chief Mike Koval appealed for calm and said he understood protesters’ anger. He said the shooting resulted in a "tragic death" and that he and the department offered "our most sincerest condolences for the loss of that life." Koval said he met with the teen's grandparents at their home after the shooting, and prayed with them.
Kenny, who has been an officer with the Madison Police Department for 12 years, was placed on administrative leave. The shooting will be investigated by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation.
Kenny was involved in a fatal police shooting in 2007, which Koval said was a case of "suicide by cop." Police said at the time that the man killed in that incident called police to his home and pointed a realistic-looking pellet gun at officers who returned fire.
Robinson’s family also called for calm at a demonstration Friday night. "He was a beautiful, beautiful soul and everybody that knew him knew that," Robinson’s grandmother, Sharon Irwin, told the crowd.