A violent spasm of destruction near the Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison on Tuesday night left a state senator injured.
During the disturbance, rioters tore down two statues, including one of a Union army officer who was an abolitionist and died during the Civil War while trying to free the slaves, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
The night of violence had its seeds in the arrest of Devonere Johnson, 28, who followed a man into a restaurant in Capitol Square shortly after noon on Tuesday while carrying a baseball bat, according to WKOW-TV.
Videos of the incident released by Madison police showed that Johnson, who is black, was using a bullhorn to call a white man “racist” as he followed the man into the Coopers Tavern.
WARNING: The following video contains language that some viewers may find offensive.
A struggle later ensued to take Johnson into custody.
Hours later, a crowd of demonstrators showed up at the Capitol to protest.
Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter photographed the crowd — and then paid the price.
“I don’t know what happened … all I did was stop and take a picture … and the next thing I’m getting five-six punches, getting kicked in the head,” Carpenter said.
I took this pic- it got me assaulted & beat up. Punched/kicked in the head, neck, ribs. Maybe concussion, socked in left eye is little blurry, sore neck & ribs. 8-10 people attacked me. Innocent people are going to get killed. Capitol locked- stuck in office.Stop violence nowPlz! pic.twitter.com/Zw2hdfYG66
— Tim Carpenter (@TimCarpenterMKE) June 24, 2020
I believe this is State Senator Tim Carpenter. Minutes earlier he told us the protesters assaulted him. Then he collapsed walking towards the Capitol. We called paramedics. An ambulance is here now. pic.twitter.com/uUSdKyQ1hp
— Lance Veeser (@lanceveeser) June 24, 2020
“This has got to stop before someone gets killed,” Carpenter later said in an email to The Washington Post. “Sad thing I’m on their side for peaceful demonstrations — am a Gay Progressive Dem Senator served 36 years in the legislature.”
One account said the attackers claimed Carpenter “provoked them.”
Wisconsin State Senator Tim Carpenter was just attacked by a group of protesters on Fairchild Street.
Protesters said he provoked them.
“This is the first time I’ve been assaulted” he says
— Lawrence Andrea (@lawrencegandrea) June 24, 2020
Rioters later smashed windows and lights at the Capitol and set a small fire by the Dane County jail.
One of the statues targeted for destruction was titled “Forward,” which is the state’s motto. The woman depicted represents progress.
— Ed Whelan (@EdWhelanEPPC) June 24, 2020
The other statue destroyed was of Col. Hans Christian Heg, an abolitionist who died in the Civil War. Protesters severed the head of the statue from the body and threw the statue in a nearby lake.
Hans Christian Heg, a anti-slavery hero, had his statue destroyed also. Heg died while leading his Volunteer Regiment during the Civil War. Now he dies again at the hands of «progressive» thugs, true descendants of slave owners.
But in the hearts of free men, he will never die. pic.twitter.com/ccrZS3nrVV
— Nuno Rogeiro @nrogeiro (also in Facebook) (@nrogeiro) June 24, 2020
— Michelle Alfini (@MichelleAlf) June 24, 2020
By 1 a.m., once the destruction was complete, about 20 police officers in riot gear confronted the rioters and ordered them to disperse.
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