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.”
Turin Carter, Robinson’s uncle, urged calm. “We want no further tension with police officers because … this was an individual act,” he said.
“I trust Wisconsin and the way they’re handling the investigation,” Carter said.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said in a statement Monday that a team of criminal investigators from the state Department of Justice were gathering facts to present to the local district attorney.
The crowd at the Capitol included many students from Madison East High School and the University of Wisconsin. Organizers urged the crowd to be peaceful — and the rally was, local media reported. A series of vigils, marches and protests since the shooting have consistently been nonviolent.
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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SOURCE: USA Today, John Bacon