Thursday, May 14, 2015

Where To Begin Your Search For Justice

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Madison yesterday looking for "justice" in the shooting of Tony Robinson, Junior by a Madison Police Officer.  They apparently didn't find it while conducting a "people's court" outside of the Madison Police Station--where they found the department "guilty" of murder and institutional racism.  They apparently didn't find it outside of the State Capitol building--where lawmakers were blamed for allowing law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations into officer-involved shootings instead of the United Nations.  And they apparently didn't find it outside of the Dane County Courthouse--where District Attorney Ismael Ozanne was called out for not filing criminal charges against the Officer Matt Kenny.  Perhaps the protesters aren't looking in the right place for "justice" in this death--but I can tell them where they might want to go.

For starters, I would encourage them to actually read the State Division of Criminal Investigation report on the Robinson shooting.  The victim and Officer Kenny didn't suddenly drop out of the sky to end up in the apartment building--there is a long chain of events on that fateful day that brought them together.  Perhaps the protesters should be seeking out the prosecution of the man identified as "Witness G.Z." who openly admits to investigators that he sold psychedelic mushrooms to Tony Robinson, Junior on the day of his death.  Why aren't they demanding that the man who regularly sold Xanax to Robinson without a prescription on the street face charges as well--as that fact is confirmed by more than a dozen witnesses interviewed for the investigation.  And where are the calls for the arrest of the man who sold Robinson marijuana that he used on that day as well?

Robinson's family have called the release of his drug use on that day "an effort to slander him".  But even they would have to admit that if the 19-year old had not used his SSI check that he cashed that day to purchase the marijuana, the Xanax and the 'shrooms, he almost certainly would not have been jumping in front of traffic that night.  He would not have been attacking people that night.  And he certainly would not have punched Officer Kenny in the dark hallway of the apartment complex.  Robinson's family also likes to say that he was "never allowed to reach his potential".  Apparently "Witness G.Z.", the Xanax dealer and the pot seller didn't see that "potential" in Robinson--or they wouldn't have sold him the drugs.  All they saw in him was easy cash--and if he was to die from doing the drugs, well there are dozens more just like him out there on the streets.

But "Witness G.Z.", Xanax guy and marijuana man were never mentioned by those seeking "justice" for Tony Robinson, Junior yesterday.  In fact, the group Young, Gifted and Black of Madison--which organized the protest--was also demanding the release of 350 African-Americans being held in the Dane County Jail for many of the same offenses.  Returning those who have set up so many other young, black men for failure, poverty and early death is "social justice" to those who marched in the streets on Wednesday.  Maybe that is why they are having such a hard time finding "real justice".

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