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Jury acquits protester accused of assaulting Wisconsin legislature

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A Wisconsin jury on Tuesday found a woman not guilty of charges that she beat a state senator last year who videotaped protesters during a Black Lives Matter demonstration.

The woman, Kerida O’Reilly, 34, of Madison, Wisconsin, was acquitted of a serious felony and disorderly conduct in connection with the June 24, 2020 episode of Mx. O’Reilly’s attorney, Jessa Nicholson Goetz, said so on Tuesday evening.

“I’m very relieved to see that once everyone is in a courtroom, it doesn’t matter if you’re a senator,” said Ms. Nicolson Goetz.

mx. O’Reilly was accused of assaulting state senator Tim Carpenter, a Democrat who represents areas in Milwaukee, causing others to attack him during a Black Lives Matter protest.

After the protest, Senator Carpenter posted a 12-second video on Twitter, which showed two women rushing towards him.

“Leave my phone alone,” the senator can be heard in the video.

“Remove it,” someone replies.

He said last year that he had been beaten and kicked in the head, neck and ribs by eight or ten people. He was treated in hospital for injuries to his head, neck, nose and ribs.

Senator Carpenter did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday night.

mx. O’Reilly and a co-defendant, Samantha Hamer, said in court they were only trying to get Senator Carpenter to stop recording the protests, The Associated Press reported. Senator Carpenter testified that he didn’t believe Mx. O’Reilly had hit him after others approached him, but that he was knocked off balance by Mx. O’Reilly, The AP reported.

Ms. Hamer filed a no-contest plea in September against a disorderly conduct of civil law, which is not a criminal charge, said Ms. Hamer. Nicholas Goetz.

The attack took place as thousands of people across the country took part in Black Lives Matter protests following the police murder of George Floyd in May 2020.

In an interview last year, Senator Carpenter said he was working in the Wisconsin Capitol on the day of the protest. He got out of his car out of curiosity and eventually recorded the demonstration. Senator Carpenter also said he supports peaceful protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I tried to tell them, ‘Why are you doing this? I’m an ally of yours,'” he said last year. “I’m gay, I’ve been in the legislature for 36 years. That’s when the hitting slowed down a bit.”

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