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Wisconsin senator reportedly assaulted during protest

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A Democratic state Senator said he was assaulted outside the Wisconsin state capitol building in Madison Tuesday night after protesters toppled two statues — including one created by a pioneering woman sculptor and another of an abolitionist who died fighting the Confederacy in the US Civil War.

State Sen. Tim Carpenter told a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter at the scene that he was attacked while taking a photo of protesters on his way back to complete some late-night work at the Capitol.

A picture posted on Twitter by the reporter, Lawrence Andrea, showed Carpenter doubled over on one knee in apparent pain following the incident.

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“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,” he said.

This new round of protests in Madison were sparked by the recent arrest of a black man who entered a restaurant near the capitol with a megaphone and a baseball bat.

He was identified by the Wisconsin State Journal as Devonere Johnson, a local activist and organizer who was shown on cellphone video following a white customer inside the restaurant. In the footage, Johnson calls the man racist, and shouts various profanities through the bullhorn he’s carrying.

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It’s unclear what prompted the altercation.

During the protests Tuesday, attendees toppled Wisconsin’s ‘Forward’ statue, a seven-foot-tall bronze sculpture depicting a woman standing on the prow of a boat. It was made by the artist Jean Pond Miner, and was placed near the capitol steps in 1895 — ‘an unusual honor for a woman of her day,’ according to the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Later, the group also dragged away a statue of Col. Christian Heg, an abolitionist who died fighting for the Union during the US Civil war. That statue was thrown into a nearby lake, according to the Journal Sentinel.

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