Gay Democratic senator urges for violence to end after being brutally attacked by gang of thugs amid anti-racism protests
Tim Carpenter, a Wisconsin, US, senator and one of four openly LGBT+ members of the Wisconsin legislature, said he was assaulted Tuesday evening (June 23) in the throes of a demonstration against police brutality.
Two statues toppled with the pulls of Black Lives Matter protesters that night, but in the unrest, Carpenter claimed, echoed by governor Tony Evers, that he was “among the individuals attacked last night” during a scuffle that occurred, according to witnesses, on Fairchild Street.
Journalist Lance Veeser tweeted an image of what appears to be Carpenter on the ground surrounded by shrubbery. Veeser said: “Minutes earlier he told us the protesters assaulted him.”
Gay senator Tim Carpenter ‘assaulted’ by protesters during Wisconsin Black Lives Matter demonstration.
“Then he collapsed walking towards the Capitol,” Veeser continued. “We called paramedics. An ambulance is here now.”
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
Carpenter added in a follow-up tweet that the incident occurred when he flipped out his mobile phone to record the protest, prompted a pair of protesters to beeline towards him.
“It got me assaulted and beat up,” he claimed. “Punched and kicked in the head, neck, ribs.
“Maybe concussion socked in left eye is little blurry, sore neck and ribs. 8-10 people attacked me. Innocent people are going to get killed. Capitol locked, stuck in office. Stop violence now, please!”
As demonstrators marched through Madison, the Milwaukee Journal reported, mayhem brewed, with windows shattered and melees breaking out between members and law enforcement.
Carpenter told the paper that he had paused to video the protesters that thronged the Capitol. Shouts crackled as some members stormed Carpenter, the footage showed, as one grabbed his phone before the camera swerves and the video ended.
“Leave my phone alone,” he can be heard saying. “Delete it!” a woman shouted.
“I don’t know what happened, ” Carpenter recounted. “All I did was stop and take a picture and the next thing I’m getting five-six punches, getting kicked in the head.”
“I want to be clear: violence against any person — whether in the middle of the street in broad daylight, at home trying to sleep, going for a run, or happening upon a protest as was the case last night — is wrong,” he said in a statement.
“It should never be tolerated.”
Protesters pack the Capitol grounds in relation against discriminatory police brutality.
Various tweets appearing to show the legislator engaging with protesters offered a patchwork of accounts of the incident. Some showed Tim Carpenter in a blue t-shirt confronting people, while others showed him kneeling or lying on the ground.
— Dylan Brogan (@telldylan) June 24, 2020
He’s currently kneeling on the ground next to his car pic.twitter.com/jo1ZNwE3FN
— Lawrence Andrea (@lawrencegandrea) June 24, 2020
A statue of abolitionist Han Christian Heg, who died fighting for the Union in the Civil War, plummeted during the protest as well as a replica of Madison’s “Forward” figure.
The piece was designed in the 1980s to capture the state’s motto and sat in the grounds of the Capitol building.
According to police estimates, around 200 to 300 protesters packed major thoroughfares that night sparked by the arrest of a Black man identified by police as Devonere Johnson at a midtown eatery. Video of the arrest quickly spread, inflaming the anger felt by Black Lives Matter members after the death of George Floyd.
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The unnerving footage showed officers wrestling with Johnson, tugging his legs and using force to move him into a police car on the pavement all the while concerned citizens shout: “He did nothing!”
Footage made public by law enforcement showed Johnson holding a megaphone and baseball bat outside a restaurant. The City of Madison Police Department claimed officers arrested the man after “his actions inside the restaurant”.