Terrell's arrest stood out because of the police force used to arrest him.
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has declined to file charges against Damon Terrell, nearly one month after he was arrested at the state Capitol on tentative charges of battery to a police officer.
"We had some questions and we didn't believe we could reach our burden," Ozanne said Monday morning.
Terrell was also facing tentative charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
A call for comment to the Department of Administration, which oversees the Capitol police, was not immediately returned.
According to Madison criminal defense attorney Robert Ruth, a number of factors must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be convicted of battery to a police officer under Wisconsin law. Included among them is that the defendant caused bodily harm to a person and that the defendant's conduct was a substantial factor in producing the bodily harm.
Bodily harm means "physical pain or injury, illness or any impairment of physical condition," according to Ruth. Felony battery to a police officer is punishable by up to three and a half years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Terrell was arrested Aug. 26 at the state Capitol during the noontime Solidarity Sing Along, which has become a daily protest of Gov. Scott Walker's policies. Observers and protesters caught the violent arrest of Terrell by Capitol police on video, which was posted online.
Terrell's arrest stood out because of the police force used to arrest him and because his tentative felony battery charge was the most serious against a protester or observer since police first began issuing tickets at the sing-along in September 2012.
Terrell's initial appearance before a court commissioner was originally scheduled for Sept. 12 but Ozanne said he needed more time to review police evidence so the hearing was postponed until Sept. 23.
Capitol Police Officer James Brooks, one of the arresting officers, testified in a probable cause affidavit and judicial determination that he hurt his finger and received multiple abrasions and lacerations while trying to subdue Terrell.
Terrell appeared before a Dane County court commissioner for a bail bond hearing on Aug. 29, three days after his arrest. He was released on a signature bond. Ozanne said at the time that he had received information from the police just the day before and needed more time to review the incident report and determine appropriate charges.
Terrell is a longtime Capitol protester. On Aug. 26, multiple videos captured footage of him holding a camera as he stood in the center of the Capitol Rotunda. Terrell could be heard telling officers "this isn't illegal" as they approached him. The videos show Damon backing away before officers grabbed him and threw him to the floor. After a 30-second struggle, officers carried Terrell away.
Stephanie Marquis, spokeswoman for the Department of Administration, issued a statement on the incident, saying that Terrell "refused to leave and actively resisted officers" when placed under arrest.
As of Friday Ozanne was still reviewing evidence. "I got the police reports and requested video," he said. Ozanne said he asked for video taken by Capitol police as well as any other video the department knew of, including those not taken by law enforcement.