Legislator Denounces “Police Brutality” by Walker’s Cops
Monday’s violent arrests of the Terrell brothers by the Wisconsin Capitol Police was not enough to deter hundreds of people from flooding the Capitol rotunda at noon on Tuesday.
News of the police violence spread Monday night and drew people to the Capitol from all over the state on Tuesday. The spirited crowd, around 330 strong, was one of the largest, if not the largest, since the crackdown began.
Among those in attendance were Democratic state legislators, Cops for Labor, firefighters, Dane County Sherriff David Mahoney, as well as the wide variety of others who have grievances to sing out against Governor Scott Walker and his administration.
Those grievances are mounting as the Capitol Police escalate the enforcement of Walker’s new emergency administrative rules that require groups of 20 or more to obtain a permit if they want to gather in the building.
On Monday, they used pain compliance on CJ Terrell to make him leave the rotunda after he was told he had been identified as a participant in an unlawful event. CJ was charged with obstruction and resisting arrest and released form jail a $701 bail later in the afternoon.
At the same time CJ was being arrested, Capitol Police tackled and drove to the ground his brother Damon, who was there to photograph arrests. Damon was charged with felony battery of a police officer and taken to jail where he remains and will likely stay until his arraignment on Thursday.
Multiple video angles of Damon’s arrest show that he was moving backwards with his hands in the air as officers set upon him and tackled him to the marble floor. It is unclear from those videos how Damon could have committed assault or battery against an officer since he was the one who was attacked.
“Clearly, that’s police brutality,” said Wisconsin state assembly member Sondy Pope. “I don’t see how it can be called anything else.”
CJ Terrell agreed. “There is no angle that exists that shows my brother assaulting the police,” he said. “It was quite the opposite.”
The reports and videos of out-of-control Capitol police brought Sheriff Mahoney to make an appearance.
“I’m here because of what I heard occurred,” he said. “ I’m here as a witness, to see for myself.”
People who had been staying away from the Solidarity Sing Along due to the stress effects of the arrests came back today in solidarity with Monday’s arrestees.
One woman said her doctor advised her to stay away due high blood pressure, but that she felt compelled to show her support of the Terrells and her defiance of the violence being applied against peaceful singers.
As usual on Tuesday, the declaration of an unlawful event was made shortly after noon, and a round of arrests followed soon after. Fewer than a dozen people who were standing near the outer edges of the gathering were quietly removed and taken down to the basement lunchroom lockup to be given their citations.
After the first round of arrests, roving groups of three or four latex-gloved officers roamed the building, seemingly aimlessly. They circled the outer ring of the rotunda in one direction, then turned around and walked the opposite way finally going back downstairs.
Near the end of the hour Lieutenant Bob Sloey entered the center of the rotunda and grabbed a bunch of signs, some of which contained the word “unintimidated” written in large letters. This has become the motto of regular participants of the Sing Along, since many feel that the Walker regime’s attack on them is nothing more than a way to harass and intimidate political opposition. Also, Scott Walker’s memoir, which is due to be released in November this year, is entitled, “Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge.”
Several dozen people walked from the Capitol to the Dane County Public Safety Building after the Sing Along to witness Damon Terrell’s arraignment. However, his case was not on Tuesday’s list. The District Attorney’s office told supporters that they hadn’t yet received the police report from the Capitol Police, and that it was likely he wouldn’t be arraigned until Thursday.
If being attacked by police wasn’t bad enough, now Damon has to sit in jail until the cops get their story straight.
Rebecca Kemble reports for The Progressive magazine and website. She also participates when she can in the Solidarity Sing Along.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story Bradley Manning’s Unjust Sentence.
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter
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