Empower Wisconsin | July 28, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — One of two women now facing charges in the brutal beating of a state senator during last month’s Capitol Square riots is a school social worker in the Mount Horeb School District, multiple sources familiar with the arrest tell Empower Wisconsin.
Samantha R. Hamer, 26, and Kerida E. O’Reilly, 33, turned themselves in Monday, according to police. The Madison women were arrested on charges of substantial battery — party to a crime — and robbery with use of force — party to a crime, Madison Police report.
Hamer is listed as school social worker in the Mount Horeb School District, where she works with “students and families who are struggling with social-emotional needs, behavioral issues, or environmental issues in the family, school and/or community,” according to the district website.
Mount Horeb Schools Superintendent Steve Salerno said after the district confirmed the employee’s participation, “the individual was placed on administrative leave.”
“I am sure you can appreciate that we are unable to provide specific information about this matter, as it is a pending investigation. Regardless, any egregious breach in civility must include due process and where appropriate, the very highest levels of accountability,” Salerno wrote in an email late Monday to Empower Wisconsin.
Hamer and O’Reilly were in custody at the Dane County Jail Monday evening.
State Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) was attacked by a mob of Black Lives Matter demonstrators after the Milwaukee Democrat took out his phone and recorded them vandalizing an iconic Capitol Square statue. Some of the attackers knocked the phone out of the senator’s hand.
The assault occurred late last month during a long night of violence on the Capitol Square and parts of Downtown Madison. Rioters smashed Capitol windows, tore down statues and firebombed public buildings.
Carpenter caught his attackers on video. Community members provided information that helped the case detective identify Hamer and O’Reilly.
Commenters on Twitter noted that the defund-the-police movement has called for replacing law enforcement officers with social workers.
Maybe replacing cops with social workers isn’t a good idea.
— Mike Moegenburg (@mikemoegenburg1) July 27, 2020
The Mount Horeb School District notes their social workers “provide individual and group counseling support services, crisis intervention, behavior support, and connections to community resources.”