Capitol Police violently tackle man during singalong - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Capitol Police tackle man during Solidarity Singalong

MADISON (WQOW) -- Capitol Police have been arresting the Solidarity Singers for gathering without a permit since late July.  But for the first time on Monday, those arrests turned violent.

In an attempt to arrest a 22 year-old man, several Capitol Police officers tackled him to the ground, resulting in one officer being injured.

The Department of Administration says the actions of those officers were justified, but several onlookers say police went too far.

Video shot by singalong regular Jeremy Ryan shows officers approaching Damon Terrell, when one of the officers lunges at Terrell and two others join in, tackling him to the ground.

"I saw four officers on top of him, wrestling him, trying to get his arms behind his back," said Emily Hoppe, who was observing the incident from above.

"My reaction was a little bit dumbfounded," said Mike Crute, who hosts the The Devil's Advocate Radio Show on 92.1 FM in Madison.

Crute says Damon Terrell and his brother C.J. Terrell, who was also arrested Monday, both push the line with officers.

Crute shot his own video of Damon Terrell arguing with an officer prior to his arrest Monday.

"I think that he has made a point of instigating at differing arrests and he has certainly vocalized his displeasure," said Crute.

But Crute and others say the officers actions went too far, especially because Damon Terrell wasn't even participating in Monday's singalong.

"I think anytime you see a guy violently tackled by three cops, I think the cops have gone too far," said Crute.

"I plan to file a complaint as do a few others," added Hoppe, who says that complaint will be filed against Capitol Police.

Department of Administration Spokesperson Stephanie Marquis released the following statement in response to the events.

"At approximately 12:25 p.m., Capitol Police officers approached two men in the rotunda to warn them to leave the area as they were participating in an unlawful assembly.  Both individuals refused to leave and actively resisted officers when they were placed under arrest.  When officers began to arrest Damon Terrell, he began to walk away and actively resisted arrest.  Throughout the arrest, officers continued to verbally tell him to stop resisting and to comply with police orders.  Five officers were required to remove him from the rotunda when he continued to actively resist arrest and refused to walk away from the area on his own accord.  One police officer was injured during this arrest.When officers began to arrest Christopher Terrell, he sat down and went limp as he pulled away from the officers.  Throughout the arrest, the officers continued to verbally tell him to stop resisting and to comply with police orders. Officers were required to remove him from the rotunda when he continued to actively resist arrest and refused to walk away from the area on his own accord."

What Marquis hasn't explained is why Damon Terrell was targeted for arrest if he was only observing.  Terrell was not cited for participating in an unlawful event, but was charged with felony battery and resisting arrest.

Damon and C.J. Terrell are no strangers to Capitol Police.  Both have been arrested numerous times over the last two years.  Most of those cases have been dismissed, but Damon Terrell has been found guilty of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest on two separate occasions.

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MADISON (WQOW) -- Just one month after Capitol Police started arresting people during the daily Solidarity Singalong, things took a violent turn Monday when three officers tackled a 22 year-old man who they say was resisting arrest.

Video captured by Jeremy Ryan shows Capitol Police officers approaching Damon Terrell, who begins backing up, waving his right hand and talking to the officers, when one of them lunges at Terrell and two others join in, tackling him to the ground.  The officers then tie Terrell's hands behind his back and carry him out of the rotunda.

Three different observers tell 27 News Terrell was not singing, but observing the events and taking pictures.  But video taken by Mike Crute of The Devil's Advocate Radio Show on 92.1 FM, shows Terrell yelling a Capitol Police officer prior to his arrest. 

Stephanie Marquis, Spokesperson for The Wisconsin Department of Administration released the following statement in response to our questions about the incident.

"At approximately 12:25 p.m., Capitol Police officers approached two men in the rotunda to warn them to leave the area as they were participating in an unlawful assembly.  Both individuals refused to leave and actively resisted officers when they were placed under arrest.  When officers began to arrest Damon Terrell, he began to walk away and actively resisted arrest.  Throughout the arrest, officers continued to verbally tell him to stop resisting and to comply with police orders.  Five officers were required to remove him from the rotunda when he continued to actively resist arrest and refused to walk away from the area on his own accord.  One police officer was injured during this arrest.When officers began to arrest Christopher Terrell, he sat down and went limp as he pulled away from the officers.  Throughout the arrest, the officers continued to verbally tell him to stop resisting and to comply with police orders. Officers were required to remove him from the rotunda when he continued to actively resist arrest and refused to walk away from the area on his own accord."

Damon Terrell faces a charge of felony battery as well as resisting arrest.  His brother Christopher faces a charge of resisting arrest and participating in an unlawful assembly.

Damon Terrell has been arrested by Capitol Police five different times since June of 2011, but the charges in four of those cases have been dismissed.  He was found guilty of resisting an officer from a September, 2011 incident.  Christopher Terrell has been arrested numerous times and found guilty of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct on two separate occasions.

 

 

 

 

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