Madison Chief to Shooting Victim’s Family: ‘I Am Sorry’

John Bacon, USA Today, March 9, 2015

The police chief of Madison, Wis., on Monday apologized in an online blog post to the family of Tony Robinson, the black teen who was fatally shot by a white Madison police officer three days ago.

“Reconciliation cannot begin without my stating ‘I am sorry,’ and I don’t think I can say this enough. I am sorry,” Chief Mike Koval wrote. “I hope that, with time, Tony’s family and friends can search their hearts to render some measure of forgiveness.

“Certainly, this will not take place soon given the circumstances. It may take some time for this loop to close but I pray that it will, in fact, close.”

Koval has been pressing themes of patience and restraint since Robinson, 19, was shot by officer Matt Kenny after Kenny responded to a 911 call. Koval published his blog post as hundreds of chanting protesters rallied at the Wisconsin State Capitol, chanting “no justice, no peace.”

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The tragedy began Friday night when Kenny was among officers responding to a 911 call saying someone had been jumping in front of cars. Kenny pursued the suspect to an apartment, heard a commotion inside and went in, Koval has said. Koval said Kenny shot Robinson after Robinson attacked the officer, who suffered undisclosed injuries.

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The Young, Gifted and Black Coalition in Madison has demanded that the city pay for Robinson’s funeral and for any costs associated with the family’s healing process. And the group said it a statement it wants Kenny to be “held accountable for the murder of Tony Robinson.”

“There’s nothing the chief can say short of changing the system,” Brandi Grayson, a leader of the coalition, told the Associated Press. She added that Koval “had a perfect response–perfect for white people.”

Robinson recently began serving three years on probation after pleading guilty in October to armed robbery. {snip}

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