With his brother still in jail awaiting a bail hearing on tentative felony battery charges, C.J. Terrell returned to the Wisconsin Capitol Tuesday to participate in the noontime Solidarity Sing Along.
On Monday, C.J. was tentatively charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest and assembling without a permit; his brother, Damon, is facing a misdemeanor for resisting arrest as well as the felony charge for battery to a police officer.
"The police are supposed to be the de-escalators of the situation, not the escalators," C.J. said Tuesday to reporters and others who gathered around him in the Rotunda.
In multiple videos taken Monday by protesters and observers, police are shown approaching Damon, who was standing in the center of the Rotunda. Damon is holding a camera that is slung around his neck and can be heard telling officers "this isn't illegal" as they approach. As Damon backs away, officers wrestle him to the floor. After about a 30-second struggle, officers carry Damon away.
Stephanie Marquis, spokeswoman for the Department of Administration, told news media Monday in a statement that the brothers were approached by police and warned that 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."
Marquis said C.J. went limp when officers began to arrest him. "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."
Marquis did not respond to an emailed question of whether she, Capitol police or any other state official has reviewed video taken of the arrests.
C.J. Terrell said Tuesday that his brother remained in good spirits as he waited for his bail hearing. "He knows he didn't do anything wrong. And more importantly he knows he has the support of his community and that the facts will come out in this. And they'll prove that not only was he not the wrongdoer in this situation, but that the Capitol police were."