Nearly fifty commendations for officer in teen suspect's shootin - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Nearly fifty commendations for officer in teen suspect's shooting

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 MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison Police Chief Mike Koval says the officer who fatally shot teen suspect Tony Robinson has received nearly fifty commendations and recognitions in his twelve year, Madison Police department career.

Koval used his online blog to note Officer Matt Kenny's career accomplishments, and reference the chronicling of the teenager's achievements, despite challenging odds.

"Fairness dictates that I lend my voice to offset some of the innuendos that have been cast on the career of Officer Kenny,"  Koval wrote.

The day after Robinson's Mar. 6 shooting, Koval released Kenny's name, and also Kenny's fatal shooting of a Madison suspect in July 2007.

Days later, Koval also issued an apology.  "I am so sorry for the loss to Tony Robinson and his family and his friends," Koval said Mar.9.

Koval has also said Robinson punched Kenny in the head before Kenny fired his gun.  And Koval tells 27 News his apology was pinpointed.

"Because you apologize for loss of life does not...mean it was ever going sideways to suggest or infer that the officer's conduct was what was being apologized (for),"  Koval says.  "I'm apologizing that anybody had to die."

Authorities say Kenny's July 2007 shooting of suspect Ronald Brandon followed Brandon pointing a look-a-like gun at Kenny and other officers, as Brandon sat on the porch of his Camden Road home, and refused to drop the pellet gun.  Kenny and other, responding officers were unaware Brandon's gun was not real.  Dane County's district attorney lodged no criminal charges, and Kenny faced no discipline, as Kenny's actions were deemed justifiable.  Police officials say Kenny received a commendation for what Koval notes in his blog was Kenny's "...ability to place himself in harm's way."  Brandon's two children and sister have taken issue with a commendation being bestowed on Kenny in connection with the fatal shooting.

Koval states Kenny's commendations include recognition for rendering critical first aid to a citizen.

"He is a consummate professional and committed to selfless service,"  Koval writes in his blog.  Koval notes Kenny's experience as a U.S. Coast Guard medic, and says Kenny's practice of carrying a separate trauma bag on patrol calls has been adopted by other officers.

Police officials have yet to release a record of Kenny's reprimands and discipline, if any, during his Madison Police career.

Koval does tell 27 News he verbally reprimanded Kenny for abandoning "neutrality,"  when a uniformed Kenny helped deliver a cake to a same-sex marriage ceremony at Madison City Hall in June.

Robinson was serving a probation sentence in connection with an armed robbery conviction, at the time of his death.  A transcript of Robinson's sentencing shows Dane County Judge Josann Reynolds noted Robinson had "...some mental health issues,"  but potential for rehabilitation.  "He appears to be trying and wanting to better his life,"  Reynolds said.

State justice department agents are investigating the circumstances of the fatal clash between Robinson and Kenny, and will be forwarding information to Dane County district attorney Ismael Ozanne for review, possibly by week's end.

Chief Koval's blog:  http://www.cityofmadison.com/police/chief/blog/



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