The song "Gone Too Soon" played as more than 1,000 people packed the Milton McPike Field House in Madison, Wisconsin, Saturday for the funeral for Anthony “Tony” Robinson Jr., the unarmed black man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Madison, Wisconsin, March 6. Robinson's family called for calm at the funeral. “We want this to be about a celebration of Terrell/Tony’s life and not necessarily about the issues it raises,” Robinson’s uncle, Turin Cater, said in a statement to WITI-TV, Milwaukee.
â€” Matthew Simon (@MSimonReporter) March 14, 2015
Robinson, 19, was shot and killed during a struggle with police officer Matt Kenny, who contended Robinson attacked him as he responded to a call about a man who had assaulted several people.
The death of an unarmed man of color -- Robinson was biracial -- by a white police officer prompted protests and parallels to the events in Ferguson, Missouri. During a press conference after the event, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval acknowledged the parallels. “To the extent that you have, again, a person of color, unarmed who subsequently loses his life at the hands of the police, I can’t very well distance myself from that brutal reality,” Koval said.
High school students from Sun Prairie High School, where Robinson graduated last year, attended the funeral, along with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, Mayor Paul Soglin, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Madison School Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham and state Rep. Chris Taylor, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice was to send reports of its investigation to the Dane County district attorney in a few weeks, Reuters reported, after which prosecutors were to decide whether Kenny would face charges in the shooting.
The Rev. David Hart told those in attendance: "Too many of our children are dying before their time. We must not accept that narrative that has become all too common," Reuters reported.