Wisconsin man who triggered protest will plead to extortion

Devonere Johnson
Devonere Johnson

MADISON, Wis. — A Black man whose arrest triggered a violent protest in Madison will plead guilty to extorting a local business.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Devonere Johnson has agreed to plead guilty to one of two extortion charges in exchange for federal prosecutors dropping the other charge.

Investigators allege he threatened the owners of two Madison businesses in June, demanding money from one, and free food and beer from the other.

He said if they didn’t comply he would have protesters destroy the establishments. In the violent unrest after his arrest, demonstrators tore down two statutes and assaulted a state senator.