- Associated Press - Monday, January 11, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Madison police officer who fatally shot an unarmed biracial man last year won’t return to patrol duties this year, the city’s police chief said Monday.

Chief Mike Koval told the Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/1ndN9tY ) that officer Matt Kenny will continue working behind the scenes for the department.

Koval cited a community need to heal. The chief first mentioned Kenney’s 2016 work assignment in a December blog post.

Koval said he and Kenny both believe Kenny should continue working for the Madison Police Department’s training and mounted horse patrol units.

“Together we came to the conclusion that perhaps it would be in everyone’s best interests” that Kenny remain in his current assignment for 2016, Koval said Monday. “And at the same time, that gives us some additional time and space for community healing.”

Kenny, who is white, shot 19-year-old Tony Robinson in an apartment house in March. Kenny said Robinson started punching him after he entered the building to investigate sounds of a disturbance. Witnesses said Robinson, who was high on mushrooms, had assaulted two people moments before the encounter.

Prosecutors cleared Kenny of any criminal wrongdoing in May. An internal investigation found he violated no police policies. Kenny, who had been on paid leave, returned to work with the training and mounted patrol units in June.

Kenny’s attorney, Jim Palmer, said Monday that Kenny’s current posting is the “reasonable and responsible thing” for the officer to do now.

Robinson’s family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Kenny and the city. Palmer said Kenny believes his remaining off patrol duties this year makes sense, because of the pending lawsuit and because Kenny is still being treated for migraine headaches he has experienced since his confrontation with Robinson.

But Koval and Palmer both did not rule out the 46-year-old officer someday returning to patrol duties.

“I don’t want to paint him into any kind of corner,” Koval said. “He may decide he wants to look at some lateral positions. We will just take it sort of one year at a time.”


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsj

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