Update: 3:28 p.m.
Governor Tony Evers is ordering “about fifty” Wisconsin National Guard members to the Wisconsin State Capitol building Wednesday night, the day after an evening that included an attack on a state senator from Milwaukee and destruction of two statues.
“It is our goal to protect the Capitol building and surrounding area,” Evers told WTMJ’s Wisconsin’s Afternoon News Wednesday. “They will be there tonight.”
Demonstrators attacked and injured Milwaukee Democratic State Senator Tim Carpenter, who was recording video of demonstrators pulling down two statues outside the Capitol building. A statue of abolitionist and Union Colonel Hans Christian Heg had its head taken off, pulled from its base and thrown into Lake Monona.
“This had nothing to do with the First Amendment or those issues,” said Gov. Evers. “None of these things will advance taking on these issues of taking on 400 years of systemic racism.”
When asked what he would say to demonstrators who acted violently on Tuesday, Evers said his first words would be “You broke the law.”
“If your goal was to advance social justice and policing reforms in the state of Wisconsin, making sure systemic racism is a thing of the past, you failed,” he added.
Update; 3:18 p.m.
Governor Tony Evers has authorized the use of the Wisconsin National Guard to help local law enforcement after Tuesday’s unrest at the State Capitol. Read his statement below.
“The protests in Madison last night resulted in serious injury to bystanders as well as significant damage to state property,” said Gov. Evers in a statement. “The Wisconsin National Guard will serve in a limited authorization meant to make sure people can exercise their First Amendment rights while ensuring the safety of members of the public and state buildings and infrastructure.”
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers is warning potential protesters that he may call in the Wisconsin National Guard after demonstrators at the State Capitol attacked Democratic State Senator Tim Carpenter and destroyed two statues there.
Read the full statement here:
“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.”