October 27, 2010

Paul Supporter Claims MoveOn.Org Activist Was a Threat

Let me use small words and short sentences so that the brain trust at firedoglake can't possibly twist this: the Rand Paul supporter that put his foot on a professional left wing activist outside the Paul-Conway debate was wrong to do so. Lauren Valle, the activist attempting to push her way through the crowd to get to Paul, had already been subdued and was on the ground.

But I will argue that Paul supporters had reason to believe that Valle was a potential threat based upon her earlier actions.

Police have summoned Tim Profitt to appear before a judge to face an assault charge after a scuffle was caught on tape outside the KET Studios in Lexington before Jack Conway and Rand Paul's debate Monday night.

Today, Profitt says he fears for his safety and has received numerous death threats after others have watched the incident on tape. He says his actions were misunderstood.

"I feared for his safety," Profitt explained.

In the video, it appears to some that 23-year-old Lauren Valle is wrestled down to the ground by Rand Paul Supporters and then stomped on.

But to Tim Profitt, the the situation is much different. He says what the video doesn't show is Valle's aggressive behavior. Profitt says she rushed Paul's car three different times; each time refusing to stop.

He says at the time, he didn't know what she was trying to do.

"We thought she was a danger; we didn't know what she was doing."

Profitt explained that he used his foot to try and keep her down because he can't bend over because of back problems. He also says police were alerted to watch her before Paul arrived because people in the crown recognized her as someone who may try and pull a stunt.

Anyone with a basic grasp of history knows that American leftists love to use women to do their dirty work. Obama friend and mentor Bill Ayers used women in his terrorist cell to plant bombs; his then-girlfriend was killed when killed in a Greenwich Village townhouse explosion when the bombs she was constructing to attack a dance at a nearby army base prematurely detonated. His wife, Bernadine Dohrn, is still the primary suspect in the bombing death of a California police officer.

And who could forget Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme (part of the Manson Family that Dohrn so admired she created forked finger salute in their honor celebrating Sharon Tate's murder) and her attempt to assassinate the President, or a similar attempt on President Ford's life by leftist Sara Jane Moore?

Erratic individuals, acting aggressively and attempting to push their way through the crowd can easily be viewed as a physical threat to a political candidate. I therefore find it quite plausible that the scenario at the Paul/Conway debate was such that Paul supporters thought subduing Valle was a rational response to a perceived threat.

Once she was down, however, and ceased to be a threat, it was wrong for Profitt to step on her shoulder in an attempt to pin her down. Others had the situation in hand.

Do his actions rise to the level of assault? I'll leave that for the legal system to determine.

I can tell you that any rational viewing of the videotape clearly shows he did not "stomp" on Valle's head, as the irrational members of the community-based reality trumpeted throughout the leftist blogosphere. He foot was clearly on her shoulder and back, and if he touched her head at all, it was incidental.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at October 27, 2010 08:37 AM

Viewing the tape, it does appear to me that the woman on the ground was kicked in the head. As to the intentions of the man with the foot, we can only speculate.

It really raises a larger question - when does someone have a right to engage in crowd control activities and limit the freedom of others? If you are on a sidewalk somewhere and I don't like how you locate yourself, when am I generally entitled to use force to limit your movement? If I think that you are going to ask someone for an autograph or photo, or ask them a tough question, am I entitled to grab you and move you against your will? Twist your arm and push you to the ground?

There are some right wing videographers who follow liberal politicians, introduced themselves (sometimes under false pretenses), then ask them rather forward, embarrassing questions. Is the use of force against these activists appropriate? We need a uniform standard of conduct.

Posted by: Jonathan at October 27, 2010 10:47 AM

thank you for putting this into perspective. Yet, no matter how small your words are or how short you make your sentences, you will no doubt still be vilified by those coming along after the fact - comes with the territory I guess.

Yes, it was WRONG for Mr. Proffitt to put his foot on her shoulder - can I say this any plainer (or can you?) --

but, as you correctly pointed out - it was hardly a stomp - and, as far as I can tell, nobody bit her finger off. Apparently she felt well enough to go on Keith Olberman's show last night. With a few years of additional practice, Mr. Proffit might yet have the potential of joining the big leagues and becoming a SEIU enforcer at a leftist rally. But he is clearly not ready for prime time just yet given his weak performance Monday night.

Will anybody sponsor a fundraiser for his legal expenses like the NAACP did for the goons who assaulted Ken Gladney?

Yet, this could have easily been the outcome or much, much worse:

"On the morning of September 5, 1975, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme went to Sacramento's Capitol Park (reportedly to plead with President Gerald Ford about the plight of the California redwoods) dressed in a nun-like red robe and armed with a M1911A1.45 Colt semi-automatic pistol that she pointed at Ford. The pistol's magazine was loaded with four rounds, but none were in the firing chamber. She was immediately restrained by Larry Buendorf, a Secret Service agent."

It is EASY now for all the pundits and Monday-morning, armchair quarterbacks to specify what Mr. Proffit did WRONG. Is it only AFTER a gun is fired that concerned bystanders should get involved? Is it OK then?

Posted by: NocoLax at October 27, 2010 10:53 AM

What about protesters that openly carry weapons? That seems to be rather popular these days in certain Republican and Tea Party circles. Are other members of the public entitled to knock these people to the ground from behind and disarm them if they think that they are 1) hostile in their tone and possibly a threat, and 2) getting too close to a candidate?

Posted by: Jonathan at October 27, 2010 11:06 AM

If they are lunging toward the candidate and raising their weapon at the same time, then hell yes.

Posted by: nocoLax at October 27, 2010 11:16 AM

And what if someone was alarmed by an armed person's twitching eye, and the way that they were positioning themself around the edge of a crowd, some distance from the candidate (but still within range)? Maybe the person had allergies that caused their eye to itch, maybe they simply didn't want to be in the middle of a crowd. Why wait until they raise their rifle - at that point, there would be less than a second to act. Much better to take them out as soon as a suspicious mind labels them a potential threat, don't you agree?

If you want to pro-actively knock down liberals based on 'what-if' scenarios in your head, you must admit that liberals are entitled to pro-actively knock down people that (according to their perception) MIGHT be a threat. You cannot demand that the other side limit themselves and avoid acting until the threat is clear and undeniable - to do so would be to play the role of armchair quarterback and impose a double standard.

Posted by: Jonathan at October 27, 2010 11:38 AM

Good thing the LVPD wasn't there.

As I recall, Al Frankin (now Senator Frankin) did something similar doing far greater damage. I don't recall him spending any jail time for it. I guess it matters which party you are in.

Posted by: Professor Hale at October 27, 2010 12:40 PM

I say the same here as I tell any boy or woman. If you are going to go out acting as big as a man you must expect to be treated as a man. That includes getting your butt (or head) kicked and possibly loosing your life. It may not be the right thing but reality has no sense of right or wrong it just is. Boo-hoo. Welcome to grown-up land. Good luck with that.

Posted by: Odins Acolyte at October 27, 2010 12:48 PM

And, as it has been noted, the Dems seem to like sending out their women to do their dirty work - then complain and go crying to the media when they get treated like anybody else - boohoo! boohoo!

Yes, Mr. Proffit should NOT have stepped on that woman's shoulder - and it was similarly wrong for her to lunge at the candidate while wearing a disguise - but no one went to the hospital, no one had their finger bitten off, and in the end everyone went home - the woman was well enough to be giving TV interviews immediately thereafter and was smiling throughout. I don't even think her hairdo was mussed up. The SEIU boys would be ashamed to have left a tea partier in such good condition. Time for everyone to apologize for their actions in the heat of the moment and to move on.

Posted by: MtnGote at October 27, 2010 01:22 PM

Jonathan the difference between the left and the right is that libs will continue to stoop lower and more violent and clime that they are doing it for the cause and that it is justified but when some on the right stands up or defined them selves from the left we are violent racist by the left and the MSM

Posted by: Rich at October 27, 2010 01:30 PM

Odin - would you accept the idea that goals of lowering taxes or limiting government have nothing to do with right or wrong? Shouldn't you just grow up, be a man and accept things the way they are?? Or is there a moral framework worth discussing?

You are right, anon - the court may raise questions of excessive force against Profitt since at that point, the woman was on the ground, subdued and not really a threat.

Professor Hale, your recollection of the Franken event seems a little skewed:

That example of Franken allegedly coming 'unhinged' did not involve anything that could be described as more likely to cause physical damage - while a staffer did at times put a hand on the the blogger's shoulder, there is also footage of the blogger putting a hand on the Senator ... none of which was violent.

Posted by: Jonathan at October 27, 2010 01:45 PM


I have seen plenty of stooping, lying and violence on the part of both sides of the political spectrum. I don't think that political aims can be used to justify improper means by either side. I think people should put aside partisan cheerleading and try to get to a code of conduct that applies to everyone.

Will both sides try to spin this event for their partisan purposes? Yes. Am I trying to do that? No. I am trying to raise questions about the legitimate actions of political activists (on the left and right) and where the line is. I am trying to raise questions about when it is right to use force against someone that 'may' be a threat.

Posted by: Jonathan at October 27, 2010 01:55 PM

I don't feel sorry for her at all...She wanted to be a martyr. did she think she could not be a martyr without pain. Real human physiological pain. Hell she just got overcome by a guy with a bad back...and now the initial media input is she got stomped? Quite the lie.

If she wants to get stomped; there is a street or two in London she can go to where the Muslims are doing all kinds of stomping, and the girls just get raped and beaten. after all it is no sin to a Muslim to rape someone like her.

Posted by: ron at October 27, 2010 02:18 PM

Having seen a video that is not as widely circulated as the video of the takedown, I am now of the opinion that the woman probably acted in a way that did violate the norms of personal space and raised questions about her intentions. She cannot be held blameless in the event. Whether assaulting her when she was restrained on the ground was justified is a very different question.

I refer to the second video on this page, which appears to shows her trying to thrust a sign in the open window of Paul's vehicle.

Posted by: Jonathan at October 27, 2010 03:02 PM

Good thing this guy wasn't a cop, she wouldn't had the doo-doo beaten out of her so bad she would still be spitting teeth.

Posted by: gDavid at October 27, 2010 04:05 PM

This video was taken at a different angle. It sure looks like a shoulder stomp instead of a head stomp, to me (both are bad, but I'm just saying......).

Posted by: Craig at October 27, 2010 07:09 PM

It's funny how returning to the fundamental values of the US Constitution is the big theme with the Tea Party candidates and their supporters this election cycle, yet not when it comes to Ms. Valle's First Amendment right to free speech and to peacefully assemble.

Posted by: Madone at October 27, 2010 11:12 PM

From viewing the videos I question the "head-stomp" meme, but I also see clearly that Pezzano grabbed her breast. I can see overreaction and excessive violence, but I cannot see any justification for sexual assault. Also, I cannot see why no one is mentioning this issue. If a woman is a threat, does that give me the right to feel her up?

Posted by: Uzza at October 28, 2010 01:53 AM

I am really looking forward to the pundits this weekend, especially since we've had a couple of days to review all the tapes. Doesn't anyone remember in the run up to the health care not debate how those SEIU goons were roughing people up, punching them and restricting their First Amendment rights. I am probably a lot older than most of you here in that I remember a lot of what has happened in this country, in the last half of the 20th century, and a lot has gone on, assignation wise. In 1963 I was in the Army when Kennedy was shot in Dallas and I remember what happened in the fallout of that. I spent about a week sitting on a runway with all my basic loads and a parachute, waiting for the go order for Cuba. I was lucky it didn't happen. I remember Robert Kennedy being shot, Martin Luther King and George C. Wallace, Presidents Ford and Reagan also (Ford wasn't shot, just shot at). So this is not some place where some leftist punkess can just charge into a group, given the way this election is shaping up and not expect any retribution for it. This stomping on the head business must have been started by the left and picked up by the pundits at Fox (O'reilly and others). I believe the demoncrapts will try to steal all the close elections and go along way toward stealing the easy ones also. I've said enough and if I was a little long winded, I apologise and ask forgivness _ _ _ NOT.

Posted by: tjbbpgobIII at October 28, 2010 03:14 AM

Wrong event. Go back to 2004.

Posted by: Professor Hale at October 28, 2010 08:46 AM

Wrong event. Go back to 2004.

Posted by: Professor Hale at October 28, 2010 08:47 AM

Jonathan, Wrong event. Before he was a Senator and a few years after he stopped being funny Frankin was at a Howard Dean rally in 2004. He did a wresting takedown on a heckler. It is hard to tell what happened to the hecker. He was taken forcably from the room and later reports talk about how awesome Frankin was for taking action.

Posted by: Professor Hale at October 28, 2010 08:51 AM
Today, Profitt says he fears for his safety and has received numerous death threats after others have watched the incident on tape.

And we see the secular American Taliban at work here. This poor sod now will receive all the pent-up rage of the leftists for having their agenda rejected by the American public.

As for his so-called crime, it would be surprising if he received anything more than a light tap for a quickly corrected error--no stomping involved. Certainly much less than if the Secret Service or the police had to take this agitator down for her aggressive actions toward a senate candidate.

Posted by: iconoclast at October 28, 2010 11:49 AM

Sorry for the multiple posts. Comment screening was telling me my comments were rejected the first two times.

Posted by: Professor Hale at October 28, 2010 01:01 PM

While Jono & the rest of the 0bamite contingent around here rambles on about allergies and twitching eyes, here's some reality-based commentary on the incident from another blog. Some good photos of the provocateur's stunt, too, as opposed to ignorant left wingers playing concern troll.

Posted by: Nine-of-Diamonds at October 28, 2010 11:18 PM

"And, as it has been noted, the Dems seem to like sending out their women to do their dirty work..."

MtnGote at October 27, 2010 01:22 PM

Has it not been proven also that DemWoMen have higher levels of testosterone and bigger balls than most of the men on that side of the political spectrum?

Posted by: jcrue at October 29, 2010 12:23 PM

Note that the assult on the woman was news. That is because news presents unique events.I have rarely heard of conservatives attacking anyone. I am sure you can surf the net and come up with something. But the fact is that liberals/progressives/communist have been using violence for many years, particularly the unions. In fact, that is why we oppose card check as the unions will do violence against those that do not vote the party line. Threats of violence is what Barney Frank used to cajole the bankers into taking bad debtors and thus precipating the mortgage crisis. He threaten to bring the execs to congress and publish their homes. The list could go on and on.

When I first heard of this incident I was concerned, but after review feel that nothing happened. As to sexual assult, the woman is a typical of Americans, big, fat, and nothing but breast (also obviously stupid), you can't grab anything else but her fat breast.

We are very close to civil war. One isolate incident of this nature is only a blip compared to what might be coming.

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