Madison Black Lives Matter protesters believe that local police, as well as white supremacists, may be using media coverage of local protests, particularly videos and photos, in order to identify protesters.
This has led protesters to vehemently discourage media coverage of recent protests and interactions. WORT’s news team has worked to be a regular presence at the protests, giving protesters a chance to speak directly, through our audio coverage, to the community.
On Tuesday afternoon and evening, a crowd marched to protest the arrest of protest organizer Yeshua Musa, legal name Devonere Johnson, that afternoon. Musa had been a frequent organizer of recent protests, and Tuesday afternoon, carried a baseball bat and megaphone in Cooper’s Tavern.
Throughout the night, protesters repeatedly reminded media to go away and for protesters to not post to social media — although some still did.
Around midnight, protesters stopped at the intersection of West Main Street and S Fairchild Street. A man, later identified as Democratic State Senator Tim Carpenter, stood on the sidewalk with his phone aimed at the crowd.
A group of six to eight protesters rushed Carpenter and tackled him to the ground, punching and kicking his stomach and face, in an attempt to capture the phone.
Protesters then surrounded Carpenter as he moved near his car.
This is a recording of that altercation, beginning at the moment Carpenter was attacked and the aftermath between Carpenter, protesters, and medics.
We released this recording in full at 3am Wednesday morning, in part to show the chaotic nature of the incident and also to hear the depth of the exchange between the crowd and state Senator Carpenter.
Please note, this recording also contains language some might find offensive, but WORT has decided to not edit the words in order to fully present the nature of the situation.
Editor’s note: Media organizations are welcome to this audio, with attribution to Chali (shah-lee) Pittman/WORT News. This text has been updated to reflect that protesters also suspect white supremacists may be using pictures posted of demonstrators.