Tim Carpenter

June 26th, 2020

The following attack occurred in Madison, Wisconsin, on Tuesday night:

“A state senator ‘attacked and beaten by an angry mob’ after attempting to photograph protesters Wednesday evening sought medical attention for his injuries, according to a Madison Police Department incident report released Thursday.


Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, told police he was headed to the state Capitol around midnight when a group of demonstrators on the 200 block of W. Main St. caught his eye.

Protesters earlier that evening ordered media to leave the scene and not take photos or videos as the night unfolded.

Carpenter’s video of the moments leading up to the attack, which he shared on Twitter, shows a group of protesters yelling. Two from the crowd can be seen running over to Carpenter and one of them grabbed his phone.


‘Leave my phone alone,’ Carpenter said.

‘Delete it!’ a woman ordered.


A witness to the assault told police about 10 people punched and kicked the politician while he lay on the ground and attempted to explain that he is their ally.

After the beating stopped, an individual identifying herself as a nurse came to Carpenter’s aide. The lawmaker stumbled toward the Capitol and laid on the grass, feeling “lightheaded, stunned and dazed,” he told police.


Paramedics treated Carpenter for his injuries and he declined to go to the hospital at the time, though he ended up visiting one later on. As he headed inside the Capitol, police told him to stay put because protesters were still vandalizing property outside.


“Innocent people are going to get killed. Capitol locked- stuck in office.Stop violence nowPlz!” he tweeted around 4 a.m. Wednesday.”

That article is from the Wisconsin State Journal.


I know Tim Carpenter. I spent five days with him in El Paso/Ciudad Jaurez last October for a border immersion program with Annunciation house. Tim and I, along with twelve other people, stayed with the folks from Annunciation House to learn about the conditions for migrants on the U.S./Mexican border.

I didn’t interact a lot with Senator Carpenter during our stay in El Paso. We spoke  several times, but he was often busy with his legislative duties, even while we were visiting the border. I did find Tim to be a very compassionate and decent person. He’s an honorable man. I like him.

Over the last few weeks, I have read a great deal about the BLM demonstrations. I know people who are involved with them, and I admire their passion. I agree with the goals of BLM, and I see the need to eradicate the systematic racism in our country. Part of me wants to stand and march with these people.

However, I am appalled by the occasional violence that has occurred. It’s one thing to read about strangers getting hurt in a protest. It’s is quite another to learn that a friend had the living shit kicked out of him by members of an angry mob.

I don’t deal well with matters in the abstract. For me everything has to be personal. My feelings about the BLM protests are personal now, and not necessarily in a good way. I am aware that the violent actions in Madison were unusual, but they still happened, and they happened to someone I know and respect.

Don’t ask me to go to a BLM rally any time soon.



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