US students protest police shooting of African American boy
Hundreds of students marched through the streets of Madison in the US state of Wisconsin to protest the killing of Tony Robinson, a young unarmed African American, by a policeman last Friday.
Washington: Hundreds of students marched through the streets of Madison in the US state of Wisconsin to protest the killing of Tony Robinson, a young unarmed African American, by a policeman last Friday.
Protesters walked peacefully to the state`s legislative building on Monday, carrying a white banner displaying the slogan "Black Lives Matter", Efe news agency reported.
The slogan first appeared in mid-2014 after the deaths of African Americans Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, both shot by police officers.
Students left classes to fill the entrance and first floor of the Wisconsin state Capitol where they shouted "We are Tony Robinson" amidst calls for justice.
Students and protesters have also taken to social networks with the hashtag #TonyRobinson.
Madison police chief Mike Koval visited the Robinson family over the weekend and apologised on Monday for the death of the teenager.
"Reconciliation cannot begin without my stating `I am sorry` and I don`t think I can say this enough. I am sorry. I hope that, with time, Tony`s family and friends can search their hearts to render some measure of forgiveness."
Robinson`s death at the hands of police adds to the list of similar killings which have made police discrimination against minorities a lead issue in the US.
In a press conference on behalf of the family, Robinson`s uncle Turin Carter said that police work is necessary and that police are even heroic at times, but that some things need to change.
"This is a bigger issue than Tony. This highlights a universal problem with law enforcement and how its procedures have been carried out," said Carter.
He said that although "we don`t think Tony is a saint and he has made mistakes", he was a good boy with a good heart.
Carter thanked people for their support and requested protesters to carry out marches and vigils peacefully.
"We don`t want to stop at just `black lives matter,` because all lives matter," said Carter, whose nephew Robinson had a white mother and black father.
According to police, the incident occurred on Friday after they responded to reports of suspicious behaviour by Robinson.
When approached on the street, Robinson ran to an apartment and a physical confrontation occurred with police who followed him there.
Robinson was shot multiple times by officer Matt Kenny.
Kenny, an officer of 12 years standing, is now on paid administrative leave while the Division of Criminal Investigation investigates.
"My son has never been a violent person. And to die in such a violent, violent way, it baffles me," Robinson`s mother Andrea Irwin told TV channel WKOW.
US media reported that Robinson was about to start three years of probation following a conviction in October for armed robbery.