Protesters outside the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison smashed windows at the statehouse, tore down statues, and beat up Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter who was observing them overnight Tuesday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
What are the details?
Carpenter, 60, told the Washington Post the violence "has got to stop before someone gets killed. Sad thing I'm on their side for peaceful demonstrations — am a Gay Progressive Dem Senator served 36 years in the legislature."
Tim Carpenter (Image source: Wisconsin State Senate website)
He also posted video on Twitter showing protesters charging at him — after which WKOW-TV staffer Lance Vesser tweeted that Carpenter said he was assaulted and then collapsed:
@lanceveeser I took this pic- it got me assaulted & beat up. Punched/kicked in the head, neck, ribs. Maybe concussi… https://t.co/ApZwgrDRl2— Tim Carpenter (@Tim Carpenter) 1592989482.0
Carpenter said video he was recording "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 now Plz!"
Here's another image:
.@TimCarpenterMKE was just punched in the face by Madison protesters because he was filming. Several people attacke… https://t.co/DrOcJlrh6b— Dylan Brogan (@Dylan Brogan) 1592975443.0
But the Journal Sentinel's Lawrence Andrea reported that protesters said Carpenter "provoked them."
He’s currently kneeling on the ground next to his car https://t.co/jo1ZNwE3FN— Lawrence Andrea (@Lawrence Andrea) 1592975645.0
Oh, and one of those torn-down statues? It's of an abolitionist
Not to be outdone by clobbering one of their allies, leftist protesters tore down a statue of an abolitionist who died trying to end slavery during the Civil War, the Journal Sentinel said.
The paper said the nearly century-old statue of Col. Hans Christian Heg — an anti-slavery activist who fought and died for the Union — was decapitated and dragged from its spot guarding the statehouse and thrown into a lake by protesters.
The Hans Christian Heg statue is lying headless in lake Monona. #wkow https://t.co/0grawivgtf— Michelle Alfini (@Michelle Alfini) 1592975458.0
And the statue of Wisconsin's motto "Forward" — "an allegory of devotion and progress," according to the Wisconsin Historical Society — also was torn down, the paper said.
Lady Forward statute has been removed by protesters at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Statue is now in the middle of… https://t.co/EDeVWnFtrw— Dylan Brogan (@Dylan Brogan) 1592970334.0
'I am saddened at the cowardice of Madison officials to deal with these thugs'
Robin Vos, Republican leader of the state Assembly, wasn't happy about Tuesday night's activities.
"This is absolutely despicable," she reacted, according to the Journal Sentinel. "I am saddened at the cowardice of Madison officials to deal with these thugs."
Vos also wondered why Democratic Gov. Tony Evers hadn't intervened in the destruction of the statues, given it took place on state Capitol property, the paper said.
Spokeswomen for Evers and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway — also a Democrat — didn't respond to questions late Tuesday about police force's slow response, the Journal Sentinel said.
More from the paper:
The unrest began earlier Tuesday following the arrest of a Black man who was arrested after bringing a megaphone and a baseball bat into a Capitol square restaurant. It followed weeks of mostly peaceful protests of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by a white police officer.
Protesters, chanting for the release of the man who'd been arrested earlier, also broke glass at the Tommy Thompson Center on West Washington Avenue, smashed windows and lights at the state Capitol, and set a small fire at the Dane County jail before police arrived just before 1 a.m.