Gov. Evers says people behind Tuesday night’s acts of violence will be held accountable
"It should not be tolerated"
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Governor Tony Evers issued a statement Wednesday morning regarding the previous night’s protests in Madison that led to two landmark statues being toppled, an alleged attack on a Wisconsin state senator, and destruction of property downtown calling the violence wrong and threatening to activate the Wisconsin National Guard.
Contrasting Tuesday night’s events to the previous mostly peaceful recent protests, Evers said this kind of violence should not be tolerated in any circumstance and that “[a]ny single act of injustice against one person is less justice for all of us.” He went on say that the people behind the violence “will be held accountable.”
While Evers statement did not indicate he has activated the National Guard at this time, the governor made it clear he would call in the state troops to protect state buildings and to work with local law enforcement if needed. State officials are still surveying the damage done to the State Capitol Building and its surrounding area, the Tommy G. Thompson Center, and the statues that were torn down.
Noting that state Senator Tim Carpenter was one of the individuals attacked Tuesday night, Evers went on to wish his fellow Democrat a quick recovery. Carpenter tweeted a video Wednesday he said showed the beginning of the alleged assault during which several people were kicking and punching him.
Evers also reminded people the origin of the recent protests, the reactions to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black individuals who came before them as well as general racism and structural inequality.
“Our cause and our purpose must continue to be the pursuit of the promise of an equitable, just, and fair state and country, and we cannot delay delivering on these promises any longer,” he said.
“What happened in Madison last night presented a stark contrast from the peaceful protests we have seen across our state in recent weeks, including significant damage to state property. 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. It should never be tolerated. Any single act of injustice against one person is less justice for all of us, and the people who committed these acts of violence will be held accountable. My thoughts are with Sen. Carpenter who was among the individuals attacked last night and wish him a quick recovery.
We also cannot allow ourselves to forget the reason why these protests began: because of the murder of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, of the many Black lives taken before them, and because racism and structural inequality still pervade this country. Our cause and our purpose must continue to be the pursuit of the promise of an equitable, just, and fair state and country, and we cannot delay delivering on these promises any longer.
We are assessing the damage to state property, including the State Capitol building, the surrounding area, and the Tommy G. Thompson Center. Both “Forward” and Col. Hans Christian Heg statues have been recovered. The Capitol Police Department responded to attempts to breach the State Capitol and were able to prevent additional penetration of the building. Additional resources from the Wisconsin State Patrol were also dispatched to provide support to the Madison Police Department.
We are prepared to activate the Wisconsin National Guard to protect state buildings and infrastructure and are continuing to work with local law enforcement to understand their response to last night’s events and their plan to respond to similar events in the future.”
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