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Vigil Held for US Black Teen Fatally Shot by Police

  • VOA News

People protest March 8, 2015, in Madison, Wisconsin, following the death of Tony Robinson. Robinson, a 19-year-old black man, died Friday night after being shot by a police officer in an apartment during a confrontation.

People protest March 8, 2015, in Madison, Wisconsin, following the death of Tony Robinson. Robinson, a 19-year-old black man, died Friday night after being shot by a police officer in an apartment during a confrontation.

A candlelight vigil was held in Madison, Wisconsin, for an unarmed African American man shot and killed by a white police officer.

Sunday's vigil for Tony Robinson, 19, highlighted concerns over what many see as racial bias in U.S. law enforcement.

Robinson was shot in his apartment Friday after Officer Matt Kenny, who was responding to emergency telephone calls about battery and someone jumping in and out of traffic. Kenny said he heard a disturbance in Robinson's apartment. Police Chief Mike Koval said Kenny forced his way into the apartment where Robinson assaulted the police officer, forcing him to draw his revolver and shoot Robinson.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The shooting sparked demonstrations Friday and Saturday in Madison where protesters chanted the slogan "Black Lives Matter" that has become the mantra of demonstrators around the country protesting similar deadly encounters between white police officers and unarmed black men.

Kenny, a 12-year veteran of the Madison police force, has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. he was cleared of charges stemming from a 2007 fatal shooting that Police Chief Mike Koval described as a "suicide by cop" situation.

Robinson's killing comes just days after the U.S. Department of Justice issued a report about findings of patterns of racial profiling, bigotry and profit-driven law enforcement and court practices in the St. Louis, Missouri, suburb of Ferguson where a white police officer shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown last year.

Other deaths of unarmed black men by white police officers resulted in a wave of protests across the country last year.

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