Officer's past fatal shooting still disturbs victim's family - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Officer's past fatal shooting still disturbs victim's family

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 MADISON (WKOW) -- Family members of the victim of Madison Police officer Matt Kenny's first, fatal shooting of a suspect say aspects of what happened still disturb them.

"You don't get over it," Kate Brandon of Sauk City tells 27 News.  Brandon's brother, Ronald Brandon, was shot and killed by Kenny, after Brandon brandished a look-a-like gun on his porch, and refused to follow officer orders to drop what they believed was a real gun.

"When you know something's wrong, you don't get over it," Kate Brandon says.

Kenny's actions in the July 2007 shooting were deemed justifiable.  Dane County's district attorney decided Kenny committed no crime.  In 2008, Kenny received a medal of valor award for his actions in responding to Brandon's threat.

State justice department agents are currently investigating Kenny's Mar. 6 fatal shooting of unarmed, teenage suspect Tony Robinson.  Madison Police Chief Mike Koval says Robinson punched Kenny in the head, before Kenny resorted to deadly force.

In 2007, authorities say Kenny and two other officers responded to Brandon's home on Camden Road, after Brandon posed as someone else and called 911, claiming someone had a gun.  Authorities say officers discovered Brandon on his home's porch, and he pointed his look-a-like gun at officers.

In deciding to file no criminal charges against Kenny, district attorney Brian Blanchard wrote "...pointing a very realistic-looking facsimile firearm at police effectively compelled...deadly force."

Authorities say Kenny was the only one of the three officers on scene to discharge his gun.

"Officers need to be protected, I respect that totally, "  Kate Brandon tells 27 News. "But you're supposed to de-escalate a situation, not escalate it,"  Brandon says.

In a statement, even Ronald Brandon's children, Josh and Jessica Brandon concede "...our father's decisions led to his own fate."

But those children take issue with the police department's official recognition of Kenny's actions that day.

"We do not think it was appropriate to award Matt Kenny with the medal of valor," Josh and Jessica Brandon write.

"They give him an award for shooting somebody with an unloaded, pellet gun,"  Kate Brandon says.

Koval says Kenny's award recognized his poise in handling what he believed was a threat to others.  "This was not to acknowledge that the police shot and killed someone,"  Koval tells 27 News.

At the time of the shooting, Ronald Brandon lived with his former wife, Susan Brandon, who also called 911 to alert authorities the gun was not real.  But Blanchard said the call "...came too late..." to be communicated to responding officers.

The Brandon children's statement sends condolences to the Robinson family.  Kate Brandon regrets Robinson family members may experience the hurt she's carried for more than seven years.  "He's done it again, and there is no witness."

Authorities have released no information on whether anyone else was present during the fatal clash between Robinson and Kenny.  Koval says  Kenny and other officers were responding to reports of Robinson acting erratically, and attacking someone.

In 2007, Blanchard noted before the fatal shooting of Brandon, Brandon had made several suicidal references.  Koval says the incident was considered a "suicide-by-cop."

Kate Brandon says Kenny should have resorted to other means to get compliance with his orders from her brother.  "He was 48.  He was a loving man."

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