I woke this morning to hear the horrible news that a Madison police officer shot and killed a 19-year old African-American man yesterday evening. The incident took place on Williamson St., which is the heart of Madison’s east-side progressive neighborhood. Here’s the story from the Madison State-Journal
This comes less than a week after gunfire in the parking lot of Westtowne Mall forced its early closure last Saturday. After that event and several other shootings, the official word was that these incidents were gang-related. Earlier this week, arrests were made in those shootings.
Over the last couple of years, the progressive veneer has been stripped from our city, revealing the ugly underside of racism, division, and deep disparities between black and white. These incidents have brought the horrors of that reality to the very heart of where white Madison lives, works, and plays.
It also couldn’t come at a worse time. We are in the midst of a mayoral election and our relatively new police chief hasn’t handled issues of racism very well in his tenure. With the political turmoil in our state, our community as a whole has been struggling to find a way forward.
My prayers go out, for the repose of the soul of Tony Robinson, to his family and friends, to the officer involved and to all members of Madison’s police force, and to our city.