Openly gay state senator Tim Carpenter assaulted, knocked unconscious during protests in Wisconsin

Tim Carpenter is a Democratic state senator from Wisconsin and one of only four openly LGBTQ members in his state’s legislature. Last night, he was viciously assaulted and knocked unconscious after taking a photo of protesters in Madison.

The protesters were responding to the arrest of Devonere Johnson, a 28-year-old activist who was taken into custody after he entered a restaurant with a megaphone and a baseball bat.

Gathering around the Capitol building, they smashed windows and lights and tore down two statues, including one of abolitionist Col. Hans Christian Heg, who fought and died for the Union during the Civil War.

After a disturbing image of Carpenter lying unconscious on the ground was posted to Twitter by a local reporter, the 60-year-old lawmaker explained that eight to ten people rushed towards him at the protests. He says he was punched and kicked in the head, chest, and neck.

“I don’t know what happened… all I did was stop and take a picture… and the next thing I’m getting five-six punches, getting kicked in the head,” Carpenter tells the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The attack left him with several injuries, including bruising, blurry vision, soreness, and a possible concussion.

Despite being  attacked, Carpenter says he is still “on their side for peaceful demonstrations.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Tony Evers urged people to practice non-violence.

“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,” he said in a statement. “It should never be tolerated.”

Related: White supremacists wave bats and shout antigay slurs at peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters