Coroner: 19-year-old killed by officer shot in head, torso

AP News
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Posted: Mar 13, 2015 6:40 PM
Coroner: 19-year-old killed by officer shot in head, torso

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A 19-year-old biracial man who was unarmed when killed by a white Madison police officer was shot in his head, right arm and torso, according to preliminary autopsy reports released Friday.

The reports from the Dane County Medical Examiner don't say how many times Tony Robinson was shot on March 6, or whether he was shot while facing or turned away from the officer, but they determined he died from "firearm related trauma." The medical examiner didn't say when a final report would be released, but said the results of toxicology tests aren't expected for several more weeks.

Robinson was fatally shot by police officer Matt Kenny after the officer was summoned to a call that the young man was jumping in and out of traffic and had assaulted someone. Authorities said the officer heard a disturbance and forced his way into an apartment where Robinson had gone, and fired after Robinson assaulted him.

There have been numerous peaceful protests since the shooting, often drawing about 1,000 people.

The shooting exposed racial disparities in the capital city of 240,000, nearly 90 religious leaders wrote in an open letter released Friday.

"Tony's death has laid bare the truth that our social contract does not provide the same benefit for all members of our community; and that our policies, practices, and attitudes stack the deck against and criminalize black and brown skinned members of our community at an alarmingly disparate rate," the letter said.

Members of the local school and county boards and the City Council said in a separate letter released Friday that the community "must do better" at ending "shameful" racial disparities.

Police originally described Robinson as black, but family members have said he embraced a biracial identity from having a white mother and black father. Messages left with a family spokesman and community members weren't immediately returned Friday.

Attorney General Brad Schimel has declined to go into any details about the shooting, saying releasing information in bits has caused turmoil in other racially charged officer-involved shootings in the U.S. over the last year. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating the shooting under a state law that requires an outside agency to look into any fatal police shootings.

Schimel has said he hopes to have the bulk of that investigation done and submitted to the local district attorney in two weeks.

Division Administrator Dave Matthews asked people to be patient, stressing that the investigation is massive. Authorities have said they're looking at what every witness was doing in the hours leading up the shooting.

Kenny wasn't wearing a body camera, but agents are examining video recordings from squad cars that arrived after the shooting and from devices people were carrying, he said. Matthews called the time it will take to review all the recordings "daunting."

A memorial for Robinson with flowers and written messages has been set up at the shooting scene. Robinson's funeral is scheduled for Saturday.

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Associated Press writer Scott Bauer contributed to this report.