While Wisconsin state Sen. Tim Carpenter is a Democrat who has supported recent protests, that did not prevent him from being roughed up by a group of violent demonstrators this week, according to the Daily Caller.
The elected official was observing a protest in the state’s capital on Tuesday when he took out his cell phone to begin recording the activity. Some participants apparently saw the act as a provocation and responded by physically attacking him.
“Kicked in the head”
“I don’t know what happened,” Carpenter said in a statement to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, going on to say that he recalled “getting five, six punches, getting kicked in the head.”
Describing himself as a gay progressive, the longtime legislator told The Washington Post that he would otherwise be on the side of peaceful protesters.
In an update on Twitter, Carpenter said that he suffered a possible concussion during the assault and continued to experience blurred vision in one eye.
“Innocent people are going to get killed,” he warned in the post. Other social media uses shared images of the politician lying flat on his back and on his knees in an apparent attempt to stand back up.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, told the Journal-Sentinel that he denounced acts of 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.”
“Whipped up by social media”
In addition to scattered reports of violence amid widespread national protests, several historical monuments and statues have been targeted — including a statue in Madison honoring a man who died while fighting in the Union Army against the Confederacy.
“I have to say that a lot of these people that are tearing down some of these monuments and defacing them do not even know the historical context of what they are taking down,” Iraq War veteran and Turning Point USA spokesman Rob Smith said in a Fox News appearance on Thursday morning.
He went on to assert that protesters do not have the right to “just tear statues down” and “get a mob that is whipped up by social media to go tear things down.”
Evers said he would deploy the National Guard to “make sure people can exercise their First Amendment rights while ensuring the safety of members of the public and state buildings and infrastructure,” Fox News noted.
President Donald Trump received criticism for his get-tough attitude toward protesters. If demonstrators continue to threaten public property and the lives of others, however, such an approach might start gaining popularity in the near future.