Angry protests after cops kill unarmed Wisconsin teen in wake of Ferguson reports, Selma anniversary

An unarmed black teenager has been shot dead by a police officer at a Wisconsin home – just days after the release of a damning report into racial prejudice by cops in Ferguson, Missouri.

Tony Robinson, 19, who was suspected of a recent battery, was reportedly gunned down by officer Matt Kenny, 45, who had followed him into an apartment in Madison at 6.30pm local time Friday.

A struggle had ensued in the seconds before the shooting, it is reported. The officer then performed CPR on Tony and the teen was rushed to hospital. However, he later succumbed to his injuries.

The killing, which sparked a mass protest outside the home, came only two days after a Justice Department report revealed that seven racist emails had been sent by officials in Ferguson.

It also came just hours before President Barack Obama will lead this weekend’s 50th anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday’, when police beat protesters marching from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery.

Over the past 20 hours, videos have appeared online showing around 100 protesters at the scene of the shooting, chanting slogans like, ‘Who can you trust? Not the police,’ in front of a row of officers.

Many of the demonstrators moved the protest to inside the Madison City County building Friday night, according to footage on Twitter. It was not immediately clear if there were any arrests.

Tony, who is yet to be formally identified but has been named by family and friends, was a graduate of Sun Prairie High School. Officials have confirmed he was unarmed when he was shot dead.

Late Friday, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval told broadcaster WKOW Mr Kenny had responded to a disturbance at an apartment in Williamson Street the African-American teenager had gone into.

He said Tony had previously been seen dodging in and out of traffic and was suspected of a recent battery. The officer had forced his way into the home, where he was attacked by the teen, he said.

‘[The] subject assaulted my officer and in the context of mutual combat, the officer did draw his revolver and subsequently shot the subject,’ Chief Koval told the broadcaster.

Mr Kenny, who has more than 12 years’  experience, was reportedly knocked down by a blow to the head during the struggle. He was taken to hospital, where he was treated and released.

However, speaking to 27 News, Tony’s tearful mother, Andrea Irwin, claimed her teenage son has ‘never been a violent person’, adding: ‘To die in such a violent, violent way, it baffles me.’

Ms Irwin also said that although she was pleased to see protesters supporting Tony at the scene, she does not wish to see violence like that in Ferguson after Michael Brown’s death.

During Friday night’s protests, Tony’s grandmother, Sharon Irwin, and aunt, Lorien Carter, told the gathered demonstrators that relatives had not been allowed to see the teenager after his death.

‘We were told he was evidence,’ Ms Carter told the crowd shortly before midnight, according to The Daily Cardinal. ‘He wasn’t referred to as ‘his son’ or ‘your son,’ just ‘evidence.’

Cheered on by young and old protesters, Ms Irwin added: ‘He [Tony] wouldn’t hurt a fly. He was unarmed. Why would you shoot him five times? What happened to your taser gun?’

In a press briefing, Chief Koval said: ‘In light of so much things that have happened not just across the country, but in our own community, it’s understandable that the reaction at the scene and of some of our citizens is extremely volatile, emotional and upsetting. And we understand that.

‘[But] we would urge, obviously, that everyone exercise restraint, calm and allow the Division of Criminal Investigation(DCI) to conduct their affairs.’

Mr Kenny is on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation by the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation and the Dane County District Attorney’s decision on whether to press charges.

Chief Mike Koval said the officer was previously involved in a fatal shooting in 2007. However, he was cleared of any wrongdoing because it was a ‘suicide by cop-type; situation, he said.

According to The Wisconsin State Journal, friends of Tony were left shocked by his death. ‘I still can’t even fully wrap my head around this,’17-year-old Jack Spaulding told the Journal.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said an out-of-area investigation would be launched into the death of Tony, who was apparently planning on attending Madison College, Badger Herald reported.

The investigation is required under a newly passed state law, Mayor Soglin told the Journal, adding: ‘It’s a tragedy beyond description. I expect there will be a lot of anger and frustrations.’

In recent days, protests have been held in Los Angeles and Washington state over police killings of unarmed men from minority groups. They followed nationwide protests over the deaths of 18-year-old Brown, from Ferguson, and 43-year-old Eric Garner, from Staten Island, at the hands of police.

Earlier Friday, Obama said the investigation into police in Ferguson had exposed a ‘broken and racially biased system’. ‘It turns out they weren’t just making it up. This was happening,’he said.

He told a room of both young and old attendees that Ferguson must now decide how to move forward, adding that America’s top goal should be to prevent similar circumstances elsewhere.

Obama’s comments at South Carolina’s Benedict College came the day before he led the 50th anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday’, on which people protested against lack of voting rights.

The violent images broadcast on TV helped lead to passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The President gave a powerful speech in commemoration at Edmund Pettus Bridge on Saturday.

Source: The DailyMail

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