Tim Carpenter, a Democratic state senator and one of four openly LGBTQ members of the Wisconsin legislature, was brutally assaulted and fell unconscious after taking photos of protesters in Madison angered over the arrest of a black activist earlier on Tuesday. Protesters also smashed statehouse windows and tore down a statues of Col. Hans Christian Heg, “an anti-slavery activist who fought and died for the Union during the U.S. Civil War,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Another statue, a female “allegory of devotion and progress” representing Wisconsin’s motto “Forward”, was also toppled.
Carpenter told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “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 he may have a concussion and fractured nose in addition to a bruised eye and sore ribs and back,” the Washington Post reports.
“This has got to stop before someone gets killed,” he told the WaPo. “Sad thing I’m on their side for peaceful demonstrations — am a Gay Progressive Dem Senator served 36 years in the legislature.”
The WaPo adds that what sparked the protests was the arrest of a black activist earlier on Tuesday: “Devonere Johnson, 28, was taken into custody after entering a restaurant in Madison’s Capitol Square area with a megaphone and baseball bat, according to the Journal. In videos of the arrest that circulated widely online, Johnson initially appeared to resist, resulting in a struggle with several officers. He ended up on his stomach on the ground with at least three officers holding him down.”
Journal Sentinel reporter Lawrence Andrea reported on the demonstrations:Tweets by lawrencegandrea