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Police guard home where Tony Robinson was shot

Madison police stand outside the Williamson Street home where 19-year-old Tony Robinson was fatally shot on March 6.

State authorities investigating the March 6 killing of 19-year-old Tony Robinson say they will turn over reports from their inquiry to the Dane County District Attorney’s Office at the end of this week.

District Attorney Ismael Ozanne will use those reports to decide whether to criminally charge Madison Police Officer Matt Kenny, who shot and killed Robinson in the stairway of a Near East Side apartment home.

Records from the inquiry, led by the state Division of Criminal Investigation, will not be made public at least until Ozanne has made his decision, Department of Justice spokeswoman Anne Schwartz said.

Police say Kenny shot Robinson, who was unarmed, after Robinson punched him in the head and knocked him off balance around 6:30 p.m. on March 6. Robinson’s death sparked a series of protests, in part because he was black while Kenny is white.

Schwartz said state authorities plan to meet with Ozanne on Friday “to provide the remainder of our reports” from the investigation.

If Ozanne decides not to file charges against Kenny for his actions in the shooting, Schwartz said, records from the investigation will be made public once he does so.

If Ozanne does charge Kenny, the records will not be released as long as the case against him is active.

After he receives the DCI report, Ozanne can also request more information or further investigation from the agency.

City and police officials have asked the public to reserve judgment in the shooting until the investigation is complete.

Much of what happened in the moments leading up to the shooting has not been released publicly. Madison police have referred questions about the incident to state authorities, who say they are not releasing details about the case to avoid jeopardizing the investigation.

Kenny and two other officers had been called to the house at 1125 Williamson St. for a report that Robinson was running in traffic and had battered two people before going back inside the home, authorities said. Kenny was the first to arrive, and went inside the home after hearing a disturbance, according to police.

Relatives and friends have said Robinson took hallucinogenic mushrooms on March 6 and had been acting “agitated” on the night of the shooting.

It’s not clear how long Ozanne’s review of the case will take. His office did not immediately respond to a message Monday afternoon asking if there was a timetable for when his decision would be made, and previous shootings show a range of time for the review.

Ozanne cleared Madison police officers involved in two fatal shootings last May within a month of each incident. After the controversial 2012 killing of musician Paul Heenan, Ozanne decided not to charge Officer Stephen Heimsness a little more than a month and a half later.

In Milwaukee County, state authorities gave their report on the April 30 shooting of Dontre Hamilton to District Attorney John Chisholm more than three months after that incident; Chisholm reviewed the case for an additional 41/2 months before clearing the Milwaukee police officer who killed Hamilton, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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Nico Savidge is the higher education reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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