Although some protests have turned destructive and violent in recent weeks, many elected officials — especially Democrats — have voiced support for peaceful demonstrators advocating for racial equality and police reform.
One of those supporters, Democratic Wisconsin state Sen. Tim Carpenter, was nonetheless hospitalized after he was physically attacked by a mob during a recent protest, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Carpenter said he was near the Capitol building in Madison when he took out his cellphone to capture a moment during the demonstration. A short time later, a group of individuals allegedly knocked him to the ground and assaulted him.
“Then he collapsed”
“I don’t know what happened,” the Democrat said in an interview with the Journal Sentinel, noting that he remembered taking a picture before realizing that he was “getting five, six punches, getting kicked in the head.”
In addition to a tweet updating voters on his condition, several social media users shared images purportedly showing the lawmaker during various stages of the attack.
I believe this is State Senator Tim Carpenter. Minutes earlier he told us the protesters assaulted him. Then he collapsed walking towards the Capitol. We called paramedics. An ambulance is here now. pic.twitter.com/uUSdKyQ1hp
— Lance Veeser (@lanceveeser) June 24, 2020
“It should never be tolerated”
The destructive protests, which also included attacks on historical monuments in the state’s capital, led Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to consider calling in the National Guard to protect state buildings.
“I want to be clear: violence against any person — whether in the middle of the street in broad daylight, at home trying to sleep, going for a run, or happening upon a protest as was the case last night — is wrong,” Evers said, according to the Journal Sentinel. “It should never be tolerated.”
As presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden currently holds a commanding lead in 2020 presidential polls, according to USA Today, President Donald Trump has backed a strong response to destructive protesters.
Hundreds of National Guard members in D.C. were deployed to protect historical sites in the nation’s capital, as Fox News noted.
Trump has also threatened prison sentences for individuals convicted of taking part in the destruction or vandalism of statues and monuments, NPR reported.
If protests remain unruly in battleground states like Wisconsin, it will be up to voters to determine which party’s approach is best for the nation’s future.