Watch CBS News

Crowds tear down statues, apparently attack Wisconsin state senator

Controversial statues toppled
Controversial statues toppled in cities around the world 01:07

Crowds outside the Wisconsin State Capitol tore down two statues and allegedly attacked a state senator on Tuesday.  Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter said he was assaulted in Madison after taking a photo of protesters. 

Carpenter sent video of the incident to CBS News and also posted it on Twitter.

"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 told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Earlier, statues of Wisconsin's motto "Forward" and of Col. Hans Christian Heg were dragged away from the statehouse. The statue of Heg, an anti-slavery activist who fought and died for the Union during the U.S. Civil War, was decapitated and thrown into a Madison lake by protesters, the newspaper said.

State assembly speaker Robin Vos took to Twitter late Tuesday night, calling the tearing down of the statue "absolutely despicable."

Protesters chanting for the release of the man who'd been arrested also broke glass at the Tommy Thompson Center and smashed windows and lights at the state Capitol. Early Wednesday, police in riot gear worked to clear a crowd of about 100 people that remained in the area.

The protests unfolded after the arrest of a black man who was at a restaurant with a megaphone and a baseball bat.  

Video released by the Madison Police Department shows the man talking through the megaphone Tuesday while walking near the restaurant's outdoor patio. He goes inside and says he's "disturbing" the restaurant. CBS affiliate WISC-TV reports that the man, identified by police as Devonere Johnson, got into a struggle with officers as they tried to arrest him. 

In a second video released by police, at least five officers can be seen trying to subdue Johnson. He was eventually subdued and taken into custody.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.