Attorney: Robinson settlement a calculated decision by city's insurer

Tony Robinson was 19 when he was fatally shot by police officer Matthew Kenny in March 2015 at an apartment building where he had been visiting friends.

Irwin and Robinson's father, Tony Robinson, Sr., chose to settle because they wanted to spare the family of having to suffer through hearing all the details of the shooting in a trial, Irwin said. "It just simply isn't uncommon for a police officer to be cleared both criminally and also to be cleared by his own department and also be found liable in a civil case". "The Robinson family has made a number of outrageous claims that will now never be resolved", Palmer said. His death was one of a series of police killings that drove nationwide protests against the use of excessive force by US police against non-whites.

"I do not suggest that we forget this event but I do recommend that we learn from the settlement and move forward to build a stronger, better community", Soglin said.

According to Swaminathan, Kenny's story was "demonstrably false" in accordance with the audio and visual documentation of the incident, and he was asked "zero questions" by the MPD's internal investigators.

"We're going to tell this story and we're going to tell the truth until everybody has had a chance to judge it because, unfortunately, folks have been told and sometimes believed a lie", Owens said.

Robinson's attorney didn't immediately respond to messages. "They wouldn't have paid a dime if they thought they were going to win a trial". Kenny said he entered the house to investigate sounds of a disturbance, and Robinson started punching him.

The DOJ investigation is a process in which a district attorney determines whether or not a crime was committed and can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Owens said, despite the settlement, he plans to ask federal investigators, Ozanne and the Madison Police Department to review evidence gathered for the trial.

The settlement received criticism from both city and state police associations. Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said though Kenny has earned the right to return to active patrol, there are no plans for him to do so.

Chief Koval and other police officials had hoped the civil case would proceed to trial, according to a Madison Police Department statement. He also intends to provide the district attorney with all of the evidence they have collected in support of their case and "implore him to re-evaluate the situation". The insurance company will pay the settlement, May said. "Frankly, given how the plaintiffs in this case (the Robinson family) have publicly demanded justice, I'm actually shocked they would settle it short of having their day in court". We know that the city of Madison, its police department, and its residents will continue to find solutions.

  • Larry Hoffman


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