Soglin calls for planned protests to remain peaceful in wake of DA's decision

Soglin spoke at a press conference Wednesday, responding to the DA's decision not to indict the MPD officer who shot Tony Robinson. 

Soglin spoke at a press conference Wednesday, responding to the DA's decision not to indict the MPD officer who shot Tony Robinson. 

Image By: Kaitlyn Veto

Less than 24 hours after Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne's announced he would not indict the Madison Police Department officer who fatally shot Tony Robinson, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin held a press conference Wednesday, urging those upset with Ozanne's decision to peacefully demonstrate.

"This is an outcome that many did not want," Soglin said in a released statement. "It is an outcome that many in our community support."

Ozanne's decision not to charge MPD officer Matt Kenny for Tony Robinson's death came more than two months after the shooting, which sparked a series of ongoing protests in the ensuing weeks.

Soglin cautioned those choosing "civil disobedience" to accept the possibility of arrest as a consequence. He said MPD will continue to ensure ongoing demonstrations will not threaten general public safety, such as delaying incoming ambulances.

He also praised Ozanne, calling for him to be "recognized for his devotion to our community and to the legal profession he serves," according to the statement.

Urging community members to look forward, Soglin additionally cited a desire to renew focus on looking at systematic mental health and drug-related citywide issues.

"We owe it to the memory of Tony Robinson, to his family, and to our community to make changes that make Madison a just and equitable city," Soglin said in the statement.

So far, protests have gone smoothly, according to MPD Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain, citing no arrests Tuesday.

"We prepared for the last several weeks to have contingency plans to deal with anything that might develop," DeSpain said. "But we're very pleased and happy that the people who have chosen to exercise their first amendment rights ... have been very peaceful."

The contingency plans, which include calling out additional officer assistance from the Dane County Sheriff's Office and the UW-Madison Police Department, have not been necessary, DeSpain said.

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