Family of officer who shot Tony Robinson asks community to consider ‘complexity of issues’

MPD Officer Kenny will stay off patrol duty for another year, chief says
Officer Matthew Kenny

The family of Officer Matthew Kenny asked the community to consider the complexity of the issues surrounding the shooting death of Tony Robinson.

Robinson, who was not armed, was shot and killed by Kenny at a home on Williamson Street in Madison on March 6. Kenny was responding to reports of a man darting in and out of traffic and possibly responsible for a battery, police said.

In a statement from Kenny’s sister, Amanda Kenny, shared through the Wisconsin Professional Police Association Thursday afternoon, Kenny’s family said they were saddened by the loss of Robinson.

“We know (Robinson) mattered, and we wish that this tragedy could have been avoided,” Amanda Kenny said in the statement. “Madison, as a community, can do better for all its citizens. We must discuss, perhaps with more urgency, how our community handles racial inequality and then do something about it. And while we acknowledge that Madison has problems, we also feel that my brother is not one of them.”

Amanda Kenny said Matthew is caring, considerate and conscientious, has a background in military service through the Coast Guard and has worked with people of all cultures and backgrounds.

“It would not be difficult to find a wide array of people who can testify to his kindness, work ethic, and sense of fairness,” Amanda Kenny wrote. “He sees people at their worst, but he has maintained his dedication to the safety of our city.”

Amanda Kenny also said the family supports “the impulse to protest,” and she thanked Robinson’s family and community leaders for speaking out to demonstrators to remain peaceful.

Amanda Kenny said the family did not want to speak with the media but wanted to offer a statement on Matthew Kenny’s behalf “as the public discussion of this tragic event continues.”