About 1,600 people attended the funeral Saturday of Anthony Robinson, a 19-year-old who was shot and killed on March 6 by a Madison, Wisconsin police officer.
A thousand people packed into the Gymnasium at East High School in Madison, while hundreds who could not fit into the gym watched on video screens set up nearby.
The funeral followed days of protests against police violence in the city. Over a thousand people took part in a demonstration at the capitol building in downtown Madison Monday, including hundreds of students who walked out of their classes.
“Anthony Robinson had a long life ahead of him and that it should not have been taken away from him,” Kathya, a student at West High School in Madison who attended the funeral, told the WSWS.
Robinson’s family and friends fought back tears as they eulogized the young man. Laurien Carter, Robinson’s aunt, wrote a poem for the ceremony.
“He is our martyr who lives forever in our lives,” it read. “His loss was not in vain. His memory lives on…a champion of change. Cry for him now, but fight for him in time.”
Jordan King, one of Tony’s friends, said that Tony “was becoming a man. When his eyes closed for the last time, I died too. I have to do what Tony did not live long enough to do. Because to live defeated is to die another death.”
Robinson’s uncle, Turin Carter, recalled a conversation with his nephew. “I told him that anybody who stands in the way,” Carter said, “anybody that stands in the way of true justice, I will make it my personal duty to expose it.”
Another relative, Alize Carter, said that in one of the last conversations she had with Tony, the young man declared: “You ever have that feeling like you’re going to live forever, like you’re never going to die? I don’t know how I know it, but I do.
“Just watch,” she recalled Tony saying, “I’m going to change the world.”
Tony Robinson’s aspirations for a better world were cut short when the unarmed young man was shot five times through the head, upper body, and torso by Madison Police Department officer Matt Kenny.
Robinson is the second person killed by Kenny in his 12-year tenure on the police force. In 2007, Kenny killed a 48-year-old who had called the police on himself and who was carrying an unloaded pellet gun. The next year, Kenny was awarded the Madison Police Department Medal of Valor explicitly as a result of the killing.
Over the weekend, police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, killed a 26-year-old man in the seventh police killing in the state so far this year.