RedState has obtained exclusive video of the precipitating events prior to the "head stomping incident" at a recent Rand Paul event, which can be viewed below the fold.
Let us begin with what should be obvious and unnecessary to discuss: don't stomp on anyone's head. There are no mitigating circumstances to be presented in this article or video. You don't stomp on a person's head. Tim Profitt was wrong and should not have resorted to violence. If a police officer subduing a suspect were caught on video doing exactly what Profitt did, that officer would be in hot water. Because you don't stomp on a person's head. Head-stomping is not what this article is about.
The question we are addressing here today is the story that Lauren Valle is telling, and which is being retold as "conservatives are violent crazy teabaggers" grist on liberal blogs and in the MSM. The official story is that Valle merely attempted to show Rand Paul a sign, and that his supporters simply attacked her for not being a supporter. Watch this interview from Countdown for the tale:
Well just before the tape I was identified by the Rand Paul campaign because they've seen me around town at these events. And they realized they know me because of my work and they don't support it. So they actually formed a blockade around me once they realized that I was there. And as Rand's car pulls up they step in front of me and start to block me so I stepped off the curb to try and get around them and at that point they pursued me around the car, chased me around the car, and what you see in the video is when I'm in the front of the car and that's when I'm pulled down and then my head is stomped on.
Sounds pretty bad. But is this really how it went down?
This video was sent to RedState by an anonymous witness at the event. It shows what Valle was doing when the Paul supporters grabbed her. No one chased her around the car. She was never in front of the car. As you can see in the video, Valle reached in the candidate's window with her "RepubliCorp" sign and shoved it in his face. Several supporters in Paul shirts have her surrounded at that point, and a man in a suit is the first person to actually intervene physically. It's hard to tell from the video, but it could be that the man in the suit was with Paul's security staff.
Toward the end of the video, you see several Paul supporters asking a police officer to come intervene. It was Paul supporters who told Profitt to back off. It was Paul supporters who brought the police. Contrary to the growing narrative on the left, this video clearly shows that Valle was not the victim of a conspiracy to "take her out."
A CBS article this morning has more from Valle:
"I think [Paul supporters] knew who I was from the past two weeks, me being in town. And they didn't like my message, what I was there to say. And I was simply there to hold a sign," Valle said. "But, that wasn't - wasn't okay with them."
Again, as the video clearly demonstrates, Valle was there to do more than simply "hold a sign," and Paul supporters were not reacting to a mere dislike of her message.
As we noted at the beginning of the article, none of that is any excuse, nor even mitigating circumstances, when it comes to Profitt stomping on Valle's head.
However, what it does demonstrate is that the idea that Valle was the victim of an angry mob who simply "didn't like her message" is demonstrably false. The idea that Rand Paul's supporters are a rabid single-minded, conspiratorial crew is also demonstrably false.
So please, condemn head-stomping. Condemn violence. But don't let the media and the left create a fiction of violent mobs of right-wingers. They've been pitching that line since the health care town hall meetings last summer. It has yet to be true.
Update: Mediaite points out that later in the video (:54) you do see Valle in front of the vehicle. To conclude, however, that her version of events gibes with the video is quite a stretch indeed. She claims to have been an innocent bystander. She clearly was not. She was blatantly not the victim of a conspiracy. Indeed, as the later portion shows, she is still incorrect. She was not taken down in front of the vehicle. She actually RETURNED to the vehicle window, right next to Rand Paul as he is exiting, practically running right at him.
As the video demonstrates, she rushed the vehicle and shoved her sign in Rand Paul's face. That is obviously vastly different from her repeated account.