Madison, WI – An activist whose arrest for causing a disturbance in a Capitol Square restaurant launched rioting and mayhem in Madison has been federally charged with extortion (video below).
U.S. Attorney Scott Blader announced on June 26 that 28-year-old Devonere Johnson was facing federal felony extortion charges for threatening to bash the windows of downtown businesses unless employees gave him money and free food, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Johnson’s crimes were captured on cell phone video on June 23 after he entered a bar with a megaphone and baseball bat and began screaming and disturbing all the patrons.
“You’re a racist, you’re a racist,” he screamed through the megaphone at employees inside the restaurant. “Why are you a racist?”
The video showed Johnson, who called himself Yeshua Musa, proceeded to loudly lecture through his megaphone to the staff and patrons inside the restaurant about how Jesus was a black man.
The restaurant called police and multiple officers responded to the scene.
Johnson, who was armed with a baseball bat, began arguing with officers who then tried to take him into custody, the video showed.
The video showed Johnson resisted and officers took him to the ground.
Passersby stopped to yell at the officers and tried to stop them from making the arrest, the video showed.
One woman with a dog repeatedly interfered, terrifying the animal, and then helped Johnson escape after officers carried him, restrained, to the back of a police car, the video showed.
More officers arrived as the first cops caught up with Johnson and tackled him once again.
That’s was when the interfering woman picked up Johnson’s bat and tried to return it to him after he was in handcuffs, the video showed.
The video showed multiple bystanders approached the officers and tried to stop the arrest.
Cell phone videos of the arrest, with no context about what had caused it, were posted to social media and sparked outrage in Madison, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
Violent activists tore down two statues and set a fire inside a city-county building that houses the Madison Police Department’s Downtown Station.
Then about 300 people marched to the Dane County Jail and blocked traffic in the area, demanding drivers get out of their vehicles and join the protest, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
“This is not a peaceful protest, so if you came out here for a peaceful protest, you missed it,” one organizer said. “We’re done being peaceful. Now we demanding justice.”
The windows were shattered in a state office building and street surveillance cameras were vandalized, spray painted, and destroyed, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
When Wisconsin State Senator Tim Carpenter tried to take a picture of the mayhem, he was attacked and beaten by the mob.
I believe this is State Senator Tim Carpenter. Minutes earlier he told us the protesters assaulted him. Then he collapsed walking towards the Capitol. We called paramedics. An ambulance is here now. pic.twitter.com/uUSdKyQ1hp
— Lance Veeser (@lanceveeser) June 24, 2020
Police said the man whose arrest inspired all the rioting and destruction had threatened to “shut down and destroy” a number of Wisconsin businesses unless Johnson and his friends were given free food and drinks, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
The criminal complaint against Johnson said that in one case, he told the business owner “give me money or we’ll break windows.”
“You don’t want 600 people to come here and destroy your business and burn it down. The cops are on our side,” Johnson threatened the bar owner, according to the complaint. “You notice that when you call them, nothing happens to us.”
The U.S. attorney charging the case said that Johnson tried to take advantage of business owners during a time of unrest, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“Those who attempt to take advantage of recent events to extort local businesses under the guise of community activism will be vigorously prosecuted,” Blader said in a statement.
Johnson is facing up to 40 years in prison if he is convicted of federal extortion charges, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Watch what happened in the restaurant and during the arrest in the videos below. WARNING – Graphic Violence and Obscene Language: