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2 charged with tearing down Wisconsin Capitol statues

By: Associated Press//October 22, 2020//

2 charged with tearing down Wisconsin Capitol statues

By: Associated Press//October 22, 2020//

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors charged two more men Wednesday with damaging property for allegedly helping topple two statues on the Wisconsin Capitol grounds during a protest in June against police brutality and racism.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported that 21-year-old Sasha Clemente and 27-year-old Jacob Capps, both of Madison, are each faced with two counts of being a party to felony criminal damage to property. Police said surveillance footage shows both of them helping to pull down statutes of the abolitionist Hans Christian Heg and Forward, a sculpture of a woman that symbolizes the state’s motto, on June 23.

Arrest warrants were issued for both men on Wednesday, online records show. The records did not list attorneys for either of them.

Prosecutors charged Marquon Clark in August with criminal damage to property after surveillance video allegedly showed him helping tear down the statutes. Clark faces federal charges for allegedly firebombing the Madison-Dane County government building that same night.

According to court documents, Clemente could be seen on video fastening a rope to a vehicle that pulled down the Heg statue. Capps could be seen pulling on a cable to topple Forward and about 20 minutes later tried to attach a chain to the vehicle that pulled down Heg.

Police identified Capps after discovering he was a passenger in a vehicle that tried to ram a Madison police car on June 30.

The board that approves state Capitol repairs overwhelmingly agreed in July to restore both statutes. The board didn’t have any cost estimates then and a state Department of Administration spokeswoman didn’t respond to an email seeking an update.

The June 23 demonstration was part of a series of protests that shook downtown Madison for days following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd, who was Black and handcuffed, died after a white police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes despite Floyd’s pleas for air. The violence on June 23 erupted after Madison police arrested a Black protester who was entering downtown businesses wielding a baseball bat.

The State Journal reported that more than 40 people have been charged with various felonies related to damage or looting during the protests so far.


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