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More than 150 demonstrators marched through the streets of Madison, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, demanding justice a day after prosecutors said they would not charge a police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager.
An attorney for Officer Matt Kenny, however, said that the 12-year police veteran was "pleased" with the district attorney's findings that his use of deadly force in the March 6 shooting of Tony Terrell Robinson Jr. was "lawful."
"There was a lot of evidence that we weren’t privy to," attorney James Palmer, of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, told NBC News. "But it overwhelmingly substantiated (Kenny's) version of events."
"I do want to make clear (Kenny) was not elated," Palmer added. "It's not lost on him that a family has suffered a tremendous loss, regardless of the circumstances."
Some of the evidence was released Tuesday from the scene of the shooting, including dashcam video taken from police cruisers. The Dane County district attorney said that Robinson, 19, had Xanax, mushrooms and marijuana in his system. Witnesses described him as acting erratically while on drugs that evening.
Police responded to 911 calls that Robinson was running into traffic and threatening bystanders before he went back inside a friend's apartment. Kenny followed Robinson inside the home and shot him seven times during a physical confrontation in which he feared for his life, investigators said.
One dashcam video shows the moment Kenny walks into the apartment from an outside entrance, firing seven shots as he backs away. “Stop right there, don’t move!” Kenny screams. The actual altercation is not seen. But part of Robinson’s body is visible on the ground outside the front door.
Two other officers arrive at the scene. Kenny remains on the front steps near Robinson as another officer with a black bag holds a flashlight over the high school graduate and attends to him. Robinson was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
The fatal encounter led to demands for police reform and is among other high-profile shootings of unarmed black males by law enforcement. Robinson was biracial but identified as black.
Protesters chanted "No justice, no peace" on the streets of Madison as some demonstrators staged sit-ins outside of government buildings in Wisconsin's capital. Madison Mayor Paul Soglin urged for calm during a Wednesday news conference.
Palmer said that Kenny, who was placed on leave from the force, expects to return to work in the coming weeks once the internal investigation is over. "We felt pretty confident that his actions were in the bounds of the law and within the bounds of his training," he added.
- Tony Robinson Shooting: No Charges for Wisconsin Police Officer
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- Family of Cop Who Killed Tony Robinson Defends Officer