Wisconsin senator Tim Carpenter collapses after he was 'kicked' in the head as protests in Madison turn violent
The senator from Milwaukee was showing his support to the protesters and continued taking photos with them before a group started beating him
MADISON, WISCONSIN: For the most part of last month, protests in Madison have been largely peaceful. However, things turned violent outside the Wisconsin State Capitol late night on Tuesday, June 23, and ended with a state senator being attacked and assaulted by a mob.
Senator Tim Carpenter, of Milwaukee, had been showing his support to the protesters and continued taking photos with them before a group approached him and started beating him. A graphic picture shared by a Twitter user showed a man, believed to be the senator, collapsed and laying on the grass. Carpenter later confirmed it was indeed him in the snap and shared another video in which two people can be seen running towards him and forcing him to stop recording them. He also shared that the attack had left him with quite a few injuries.
"I took this pic – it got me assaulted & beat up," he wrote. "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! [sic]"
"I don't know what happened," he later told the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal of the incident. "All I did was stop and take a picture... and the next thing I'm getting five-six punches, getting kicked in the head".
The unrest had begun earlier in the day after a black man was arrested for bringing a megaphone and a baseball bat into a Capitol square restaurant. Social media posts from the time indicated there had been tension between police in riot gear and protesters following the incident.
Protesters who were chanting for his release eventually turned unruly and 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.
Carpenter wasn't the only victim, however. While protests across the nation saw crowds tearing down statues of soldiers and generals who had served in the Confederate Army, protesters in Madison, whether knowingly or unknowingly, targeted one dedicated to an abolitionist.
A statue of Col. Hans Christian Heg, an anti-slavery activist who had fought and died for the Union Army, was unrooted and dragged away from its spot at the entrance to the statehouse. Another statue of the state's motto, 'Forward,' was not spared either.
"It’s now open season on abolitionists who recruited troops for the Union army, ably led them, and died courageously on the battlefield," tweeted Rich Lowery, the editor of the National Review.
Speaker Robin Vos, the Republican leader of the state Assembly, slammed the protesters behind the violence and branded them, thugs. "This is absolutely despicable," he tweeted. "I am saddened at the cowardice of Madison officials to deal with these thugs."
Vos also called out Governor Tony Evers and asked why he had not intervened when the statues were being destroyed considering the actions took place on state Capitol property. Spokeswomen for Evers and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway have not yet commented on the violence.