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Viral Video Shows Police Violently Arresting Individual Who Was Allegedly Only Observing Protest


"They just grabbed him and threw him onto the hard marble floor and started manhandling him."

A video uploaded to YouTube on Monday shows multiple police officers violently arresting a man who was allegedly observing a protest at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

"Damon Terrell went to the Solidarity Sing Along to observe and take pictures and/or video," the video's opening scene claims. "Despite statements from the DOA that Observers will not be arrested, he was arrested for observing."

The video then shows a group of police officers confront Terrell, who slowly backs away saying "this is not illegal," before tackling him to the ground and taking him into custody.

Police reportedly charged Terrell with felony battery and resisting arrest. Just moments before, police had reportedly arrested his brother CJ Terrell for demonstrating.

Watch the video of the incident below:

Jeremy Ryan, the individual who uploaded the video of the arrest to YouTube, spoke with TheBlaze Tuesday afternoon and said he thinks the arrests were racially motivated.

"Police come into the rotunda, they look at him and his brother who are at the time the only minorities in the rotunda and they go straight for them," Ryan said, noting Terrell was not participating but "walking around taking pictures" and "just observing the singalong."

"I think that whenever you go after the first two minorities that you see that that looks a bit racist and I do think there were some racial motives," he continued. "I can't see any other reason why they were chosen, so I do think it was racially motivated."

Ryan said he didn't see "any resisting whatsoever" and that officers "just grabbed him [Terrell] and threw him onto the hard marble floor and started manhandling him."

In his opinion, disciplinary actions should immediately be taken against the officers involved.

"I think these officers should be at least taken off rotunda duty," Ryan said. "I think it creates a safety risk for everyone when you have officers like that behaving in a public building"

A spokesperson for the Wisconsin Capitol Police did not respond to multiple requests for comment from TheBlaze on Tuesday.

Watch another video showing the incident from a different angle:

However, Stephanie Marquis, reportedly speaking for the Department of Administration, said in a statement obtained by the Journal Sentinel on Monday, that "both individuals refused to leave and actively resisted officers when they were placed under arrest.... When officers began to arrest Damon Terrell, he began to walk away and actively resisted arrest."

She reportedly added that one officer sustained an injury, but declined to go into details citing medical privacy concerns.

Still, Ryan says he thinks Terrell did nothing wrong.

"It does appear as though an officer may have been injured in the struggle, however, just because an officer gets arrested illegally arresting someone doesn't mean the individual assaulted the officer," he said.

A video posted on a local Occupy group's website appears to show Terrell moments before his arrest telling an officer that arrests of the singalong protesters are "not" legal.

The protest, called the "Solidarity Sing Along" occurs every day at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison. It originally started to protest Governor Scott Walker's position on collective bargaining, but, after protesters were told they need permits to demonstrate in the building, has evolved into a protest over free speech rights.

(H/T: Journal Sentinel)

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter



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