After a Night of Upheaval, Enter the Wisconsin National Guard

Move follows fire, vandalism, violence in Madison
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2020 10:45 AM CDT
After a Night of Upheaval, Enter the Wisconsin National Guard
Wisconsin's "Forward" statue lies in the street on Capitol Square in Madison, Wis., on Tuesday.   (Emily Hamer/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

Gov. Tony Evers says he's preparing to activate the Wisconsin National Guard after a night of unrest in Madison that included an assault on a state senator. It was apparently triggered by the arrest of a protest organizer. A video shows Devonere Johnson, a black man who also goes by Yeshua Musa, following a patron into a restaurant with a bat resting on his shoulder, per WKOW. Using a bullhorn, Johnson announces that the patron is racist before speaking about slavery and the Civil War. Outside, he was detained by numerous officers before escaping a squad car. He was then tackled and tentatively charged with disorderly conduct while armed, resisting arrest, and attempted escape. Into the night, people frustrated at the arrest marched around the city's downtown, per CNN. Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter said he was amid the protest when he tried to take a photo.

"It got me assaulted ... punched/kicked in the head, neck, ribs. Maybe concussion," he tweeted Wednesday, alongside video of two people rushing him. WKOW reports that "Carpenter collapsed and our crew called 911 to get him an ambulance." The state senator wasn't the only casualty of the night. The Lady Forward statue outside the Wisconsin Capitol, an apparent symbol of "devotion and progress," was brought down around 10:30pm. Soon after, a statue of Col. Hans Christian Heg, a Norwegian migrant who fought for the Union, lost its head and ended up in Lake Monona. Evers tells WBAY that the statues have been recovered and the Wisconsin National Guard is being prepared "to protect state buildings and infrastructure." The Wisconsin State Journal describes vandalism and a fire in a city engineering office, apparently sparked by Molotov cocktail. (Read more Madison, Wis. stories.)

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