Madison man, activist made first appearance in federal court for extortion

Devonere Johnson
Devonere Johnson(Dane County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 5:38 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison man and activist charged with extorting two state street businesses made his first federal court appearance Wednesday.

Devonere Johnson appeared in federal court via Zoom video conference. The judge said they are awaiting a grand jury indictment before the case can move forward.

Officers arrested Johnson last month after police say he entered Cooper’s Tavern with a bullhorn and spoke loudly to customers while also holding a baseball bat.

At one point during the arrest, police say Johnson escaped, forcing officers to tackle him.

Johnson’s arrest sparked downtown protests saying officers used excessive force.

If proven guilty, Johnson faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count. The penalty is set by U.S. Code.

Johnson remains in jail.

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