The Madison, Wis., police officer who shot and killed Tony Robinson wants to return to his job, after more than two months in which his actions in the controversial shooting of the 19-year-old have been the subject of passionate protests and intense public scrutiny.
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne last Tuesday announced the officer will not face criminal charges for the shooting, saying the officer lawfully used deadly force during an altercation with Robinson in a Near East Side apartment home on March 6.
The officer's attorney, Jim Palmer, said his client’s desire to return to policing is rooted in a dedication to service, pointing to the 12-year MPD veteran’s prior time in the U.S. Coast Guard and as a lifeguard.
“At his core, he is someone who is extraordinarily dedicated to helping people,” Palmer told Madison.com. “He feels a very deep and genuine connection to this community, and he wants to get back to serving it.”
The officer remains on paid leave, pending an internal investigation to see if he violated MPD policies during the incident. That review could still subject him to department sanctions or firing. It has not been completed, officials said, but its results are expected soon.
But Police Chief Mike Koval told WKOW-TV he's looking at alternatives rather than have the officer return to a patrol role.
"Clearly, he's certainly probably a household name or figure right now in our community," Koval said. "I worry about his safety. I worry about those officers who go to back him up. And of course I worry about the community perceptions about what's gone on here."