Who is Ismael Ozanne, Wisconsin’s prosecutor in Tony Robinson’s death?
Cable News Network (CNN)
Michael Martinez, Newsdesk Editor & Writer
(CNN) Ismael Ozanne wiped a handkerchief across his forehead, nervously tapped a stack of papers on the podium and slowly cleared his throat.
It wasn’t the first time he’d made history; that happened in 2010 when he became Wisconsin’s first black district attorney.
Still, the Dane County district attorney seemed acutely aware of his role on the national stage Tuesday as the man who would decide whether an officer should be charged for the March 6 shooting death of an unarmed biracial man, 19-year-old Tony Robinson.
Eventually, Ozanne told reporters that he’d cleared Matt Kenny of the Madison Police Department, declaring that the officer’s gunfire was “a lawful use of deadly police force.”
But before he revealed his long-awaited decision Tuesday, the prosecutor also made it a point to talk about his past…
…Wisconsin’s first black DA
Ozanne became the first African-American district attorney in Wisconsin history in August 2010, when former Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, appointed him as Dane County district attorney.
Ozanne’s appointment filled a vacancy created when the prior DA was elected as a Court of Appeals judge…
…Ozanne’s grandfather, Robert Ozanne, was a high school teacher, a labor organizer, an author and a professor of economics at University of Wisconsin at Madison in the 1950s, according to Ismael Ozanne’s biography.
His parents are also teachers: His father taught at Tuskegee University in Alabama and in Madison public schools, and as of last year, his mother was still in the classroom, teaching reading at a middle school.
Ozanne describes himself as biracial.
“I’m a person of color from a biracial marriage. … I am the son of a black woman who still worries about my safety from the bias and privilege and violence that accompanies it,” he said Tuesday…
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