Allowed to Review Evidence Before Making a Statement, White Madison Cop Told Lies to Cover Murder of Black Teen [$3 Million Settlement]

From [HERE] In Madison, Wisconsin, attorneys for the family of an American-American teenager who was shot dead by a city police officer have reached a $3.35 million settlement. Nineteen-year-old Tony Robinson was unarmed when white officer Matt Kenny forced his way into an apartment following a "disturbance" in 2015. Kenny shot Robinson seven times in three seconds. Prosecutors declined to charge Kenny, and he was cleared by the Madison Police Department’s Internal Affairs unit. This week’s settlement is the largest ever for an officer-involved killing in Wisconsin.

The settlement came as a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil in Madison said for the first time his office is reviewing the shooting along with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice — a development welcomed by attorneys for the teen's family.

The decision to settle the case ignited a furious response from local law enforcement, who said the officer should have had the chance to defend himself in court. However, the white cop was not sued in his personal capacity. At any rate, cops rarely pay a penny of any settlement.  

The settlement will be paid for by the city's insurer. In 2015, the city of Madison reached a $2.3 million settlement with the family of a white musician killed by an officer.

Kenny previously was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, a Black probot. An internal police investigation determined that he didn't violate department policies. [What is white collective power? Also, to mitigate the racial reality of Robinson's death the Milwaukee press began refering to Robinson as "bi-racial." The Journal Sentinel also has pointed out that the DA who failed to file charges also was "bi-racial" - a way of implying that racism/white supremacy is somehow not involved here b/c it is bi-racial on bi-racial. This DA works in service of white domination. The white media rarely points out the "race" of prosecutors. File that under the refinement of white supremacy; you may see this kind of scenario more often with proxymoronic Blacks placed in high places. But "Nigger" is what white cop Kenny did to Robinson when he shot him to death.]  

The lawsuit — filed against Kenny and the city — questioned the officer's version of events. 

The cops said Robinson had eaten hallucinogenic mushrooms March 6, and police said he assaulted Kenny when the officer arrived at a home on Williamson St. in Madison in response to three 911 calls. Kenny said when he exited his squad car he heard sounds of a disturbance from an upstairs apartment on Williamson St., and, believing a fight was taking place, radioed dispatch that he was going to go in. He also drew his firearm. Robinson reportedly struck Kenny on the left side of his head and knocked him to the wall, according to the Department of Justice documents, and kept coming, Kenny told investigators. Kenny then shot Robinson seven times in three seconds.

However, attorneys for Robinson said audio and video recordings of the incident "directly contradict" Kenny's version of events and establish that Kenny knew Robinson was unarmed and that Robinson was not coming toward Kenny at close range when Kenny began firing. Police audio and videotape demonstrated that Robinson posed no immediate threat to the officer or other civilians, despite Kenny's claims.

Police dispatch audio tapes, for example, record that Kenny was informed that Robinson was unarmed. And squad car video tape contradict Kenny's claim that Robinson was near him, or coming towards him, when he began firing his seven shots at the teenager.

The suit describes the deliberate method by which Kenny killed Tony without any lawful justification:

"Defendant Kenny fired a first volley of three shots, and then stopped to pick up his flashlight, which he had dropped. Defendant Kenny then took a step back and fired three more shots into Tony Robinson. Then, Defendant Kenny took another step back, raised his gun again, and fired a seventh shot."

The suit derides the standard procedure by which the City of Madison "investigates" police shootings - for example, allowing officers to re-visit the crime scene and review all available forensic evidence before making their witness statements. Despite those considerable advantages, Kenny's story still was woefully at odds with the physical evidence, but Madison exonerated him anyway.

In short, Officer Kenny lied repeatedly, and Madison authorities allowed him to get away with it.

"The City's investigation into the shooting of Tony Robinson is evidence of the City's continued deliberate indifference to the use of unconstitutional deadly force against unarmed citizens. Rather than examine the evidence, and inconsistencies between Defendant Kenny's account and the audio and video footage, the investigators accepted wholesale Defendant Kenny's inconsistent and facially implausible version of events. Indeed, the City did not even speak to Defendant Kenny in the course of its investigation. Instead, policymakers for the City publicly spoke out endorsing Defendant Kenny's actions...."

"Because of his status as a police officer, Defendant Kenny, like the City of Madison, has not been held accountable for his actions. Instead, despite the cries of a grieving community, authorities, including the City of Madison, have endorsed Defendant Kenny's actions -- an act of deliberate indifference to the senseless killing of Tony Robinson, Jr. and others at the hands of the Madison Police Department... Those actions have left a family and community irreparably harmed, and without other recourse."

The lawsuit criticized how Madison police review officer involved shootings, particularly how the officers are allowed to revisit the scene and review evidence before making their statements. It contended the city has "a policy and practice" of facilitating police officer misconduct through inadequate training, supervision, control and discipline, and even "encouraged Kenny's conduct by previously rewarding him with commendations for aggressive police tactics."

A spokesman for Kenny said he was "extraordinarily disappointed" in the settlement decision.

Jim Palmer, a white attorney representing Kenny who is also the executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, said the "city’s insurance company chose to make a business decision that was more concerned with the costs of litigation than the facts of the case." 

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval acknowledged the pain of Robinson's family and the fact that the money would not bring back the teenager. But he said that he had repeatedly opposed a settlement.

"The process is driven quite frankly by risk managers, insurers, accountants, and suits — lawyers," he said.

"Does this have a chilling effect on policing? Yes. From a recruiting standpoint, of course it does," Koval said.

 At a press conference on the Capitol steps, Robinson's mother, Andrea Irwin, pleaded for people to see him as a young man. 

Swaminathan and fellow attorney David Owens praised Wisconsin's independent review system for shootings by officers, saying it was a valuable tool that more states should adopt. But they were critical of the decision of the state Department of Justice agents to let Kenny review recordings of the incident before answering questions about it. 

The two attorneys were even more critical of the disciplinary process for Madison police, saying it had failed to probe inconsistencies in Kenny's statements. 

Attorneys for the Robinson family said the settlement showed they had a strong case and added they would try to use it now to force further changes in the Police Department. "This is absolutely vindication for the Robinson family," attorney Anand Swaminathan said.