Conspiracy to curb-stomp?

The police are interested in talking to the two males (you can’t really call them *men*, can you?) who held down the victim while Rand Paul county co-ordinator Tim Profitt stomped on her head.

I’ve been wondering why all the police attention in the curbstomping case has focused on the stomper, when the woman he was stomping had already been assaulted, and was being held down, but two other men. Ask, and ye shall receive; the cops now say they’re interested in finding the other two thugs. If there’s corroboration for the witness’s testimony that the attack was pre-planned, we might even start hearing about conspiracy charges.

Surely campaign officials know who was around the candidate’s car. I wonder if the Paul campaign will cooperate this time, as it seemingly didn’t in identifying Mr. Profitt?

Footnote I’ve also been a little surprised that the sheer cowardice of the incident hasn’t gotten more attention. Three males ganging up on one female? Can you really call them men?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

40 thoughts on “Conspiracy to curb-stomp?”

  1. Of course the attack was pre-planned. And I think she's getting about as much publicity out of it as she hoped for, too.

    Anyway, a question: The reports keep saying "stomped on head", but if you watch the video, you can clearly see the idiot stepping on her shoulder. Don't the freaking news outlets watch their own video footage? Certainly an over-reaction, and I wouldn't weep if the guy did get charged over it, but can't we be vaguely accurate about these things?

  2. Brett Bellmore, it's difficult to take you seriously. You're Mom would be ashamed of you, and you know it.

    I would like to see a high-profile case like this prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to discourage other hooligans from engaging in similar activities. If these crimes are not punished, we embolden those who believe they must destroy the country to save it.

    Adding that most people of all ideological backgrounds take their cues from party leaders. What we are seeing on the right is a manifestation of the rhetoric that began with W. "You're with us or against us.", and accelerated with McCain/Palin. Of course, Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, Fox News and others have taken it to a whole new level…

  3. Digby nails the attitude of Brett and the rest of the glibertarian goon squad here:… . We spent the entire summer of 2009 watching a highly coordinated effort by Teatards to disrupt town hall meetings across the country by shouting, interrupting, harrassing, and showing up openly carrying firearms, and not one of those people was ever assaulted or arrested. But one girl shows up with a sign at a debate and suddenly "OMG IT'S JUST LIKE SQUEAKY FROMME SHE GOT WHAT SHE DESERVED!!!111!"

    It would be laughably pathetic if it weren't a) indicative of the very dark authoritarian impulse that underlies so much so-called "libertarianism" and b) associated with people who are probably to be in positions of actual power in this country very soon.

  4. I'm astonished nobody has yet started the process of rebranding "Red America/Red States" as "Yellow America/Yellow States".

  5. It's actually a sign of social progress that not many people have noticed that it was three men against one woman. Thuggery and cowardice are gender-blind concepts–three against one for no good reason is sufficient for both counts. I'm not sure that gender adds much to the mix, and may distract from the important issues.

  6. Brett: check out this half-speed version of the clip. Lauren Valle´s head is covered by a red garment or cloth so you can´t see exactly where Profitt´s shoe is in relation to her body. But it certainly looks as if his heel is on the back of her head or her neck. The clip also shows that he isn´t placing his shoe on her to ¨restrain¨ a smallish woman already held down by two other men, to make an adolescent display of male dominance, he is stamping down on her to cause her pain and injury. The neck is much more vulnerable than the skull, so the difference doesn´t help Profitt – it makes his assault worse.

  7. We should be most grateful that Brett isn't blathering on endlessly

    about something he knows nothing about, i.e., almost everything.

    Instead he is generously providing us some of his expertise on the

    appropriate methods for beating up on women.

    Thank you Brett.

  8. Three males ganging up on one female? Can you really call them men?

    Three-on-one shows a lack of mature confidence and ability no matter the gender of the victim or the attackers.

  9. "Three males ganging up on one female? Can you really call them men?"

    One might validly say that ganging up on women is the very essence of manhood in much of the world and through much of history. But, point well taken. (Indeed, I can hardly believe how little of this point has been made in the discussions on this site.)

    Several men assaulted a lone woman for exercising her right of expression, and then after she was rendered helpless, intensified their attack.

    The fact of the assault itself ought to be enough for condemnation, but

    – the sexes of those involved,

    – the ganging of a lone victim,

    – and the vicious, dangerous gratituity of the neck stomp on a prostrate, restrained person all make this a particularly vicious and outrageous breach of the most basic anti-thuggery rules of our civilization.

    Not to mention that it was

    – politically motivated violence,

    which poses a greater threat to a free society than just plain old garden-variety violence (as bad as that is).

    God help our democracy and God help those who are so ignorant and vicious as to defend these thugs.

  10. Brett — I took your advice and I watched that video of the "events leading up to the altercation" and it didn't show anything but a bunch of people in a public place where the candidate was arriving. It looked and sounded like they were holding signs and chanting.

    How is this relevant to an assault?

  11. Well, now it's becoming more clear: Mark's a troglodyte. His initial response was gendered, and now we see that he's just sexist. At the same time that this young woman was planning her assault on Paul, her peers were serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, and others surely serve as public safety officers in Kentucky. And yet we're supposed to think of her as fragile and harmless. What's meant to excuse in this case of course is the same sort of thing that is meant to restrain in others, and we shouldn't assume others are capable of Mark's hypocrisy.

  12. Joe S — How is the weakening of the strong and ancient social control that men must not assault women a "sign of progress"? I consider it this concept and taboo one of the things that renders the world safe for me.

    I applaud your general condemnation of violence, but I assure you, it will by no means improve affairs to pretend that thuggery is a gender-blind concept. In this I am a conservative (Burkean type): let us admit our societal flaws, and knowing the general tendency of human ways, therefore acknowledge that, in all eras and all circumstances, all other things being equal, women will always need protection from men.

    I can assure you, my daily life in any place and time will be better off for it.

  13. Bill Plotkin, in his book "Nature and the Human Soul", suggests that many adults are actually stuck in an adolescent state of development. He calls this state "patho-adolescence" and describes it thus: "In current Western and Westernized socieitys, in addition to the scarcity of true maturity, many people of adult age suffer from a variety of adolescent pathologies–incapacitating social insecurity, identity confusion, extremely low self-esteem, few or no social skills, narcissism, relentless greed, arrested moral development, recurrent physical violence, materialistic obsessions, little or not capacity for intimacy or empathy…" (p. 9)

    I think there's a good case to be made that the video shows men who are acting from a profoundly patho-adolescent condition. And this permeates our politics and our culture: "When we take an honest look at the people in charge of the governments, corporations, schools, and religious organizations of industrial growth societies, we find that too many are psychological adolescents with no deep understanding of themselves or the natural environment that makes their lives possible."

    Thus, we might say that the men who are assualting the women need to grow up. And, not to excuse their actions at all, for which they are indeed individually responsible, and through which they have incurred obligations to submit to justice and/or make things right, it is also true to say that they are not really that unusually, that their behaviors are the physical manifestation of the spiritual state of political discourse, and that the message they bring to all of us is just this: as a people, we must grow up.

  14. Betsy,

    You are completely correct–in the proper context. But this didn't strike me (or most folk) as a gendered context. It's not a one-on-one, in which most men assume that they can physically dominate a woman just because she's a woman. Three-on-one is gender-free physical domination, unless the one happens to be a big bruiser. It's not a rape case, or a sexual harassment case. And yes, women should generally be more worried about being victims of physical violence than men. But it's not relevant here, and besides, it is still contextual.

    Being of the female sex doesn't invariably create a gendered context. It used to, but no more. It still often does, generally wrongly. But it didn't here.

  15. Brett, please explain to me how she received a concussion from someone stepping on her shoulder.

  16. Let's be honest here. We all can agree that Mark is a sexist trogladite and Proffitt is a civic minded price of a man who is expressing his constitutionally guarenteed right to free political speech.

    Oh and Brett's mom is ashamed of him as are we all. Well, most of us.

  17. "Three-on-one is gender-free physical domination." In your sentence, it is, because you leave out the words "men" and "women"!

    No, it's not. Three men on one woman is a very different situation than three men on one man. They're both completely unacceptable. They're both overwhelming disparity in force. I agree with you on those two points. But one is a gendered situation, and the other is not.

    You try being that woman, and you'd agree.

    "Being of the female sex doesn’t invariably create a gendered context."

    You really ought to try it some time, and see for yourself how invariable it is or is not.

  18. No Betsy, sex is not destiny. Let me give you an example.

    Two people at a train station were once beset by a pair of pickpockets. One of the two victims used a small amount of very judicious violence, and the thieves ran away. I know this is true because I was the other intended victim of the thieves. The judiciously violent person was my wife.

    If you want to live your subjective life as a permanent member of a victim class, be my guest. Not all women have to do so, at least not all the time.

  19. The smallest Special Staff unit is a squad. Miller's Special Staff ran a three-on-one operation as well. It's just the way they do things. No bog deal.

  20. "Brett — I took your advice and I watched that video of the “events leading up to the altercation” and it didn’t show anything but a bunch of people in a public place where the candidate was arriving. It looked and sounded like they were holding signs and chanting.

    How is this relevant to an assault?'

    I take it you somehow missed the "Rushed the car and repeatedly thrusted something through the window" part of the video, which preceded her being surrounded and taken down?

    "Brett, please explain to me how she received a concussion from someone stepping on her shoulder."

    Maybe she got it from hitting be pavement, before the foot got anywhere near her shoulder? I'm pretty sure you can step on somebody's shoulder all you like without causing a concussion, but being thrown to the pavement can certainly cause one.

  21. "…in all eras and all circumstances, all other things being equal, women will always need protection from men"

    Betsy, are you kidding me? Have you seen the good research by Terrie Moffitt and colleagues showing that women are equally as likely to domestically assault men as men are to domestically assault women? I guess though that all of your feminist friends will be interested to hear your views on how much poor helpless women need protection because they are so weak and fragile. Really?

  22. Joe S. — Thanks for teaching me the "Well, my [wife, girlfriend, etc.] is a woman, and SHE [does, says, believes, experienced] X, so that shows that your feminist point is wrong" lesson.

  23. I take it you somehow missed the “stomped on the head of a woman that was already pinned down by a man twice her weight” part of the video. Care to comment? No. Of course not, the brownshirts are happy with the results, right Brett?

  24. Indeed I did, Benny, but I caught the "stomped on shoulder" part, and DID say I wouldn't weep if the guy got charged over it.

    Look, I think the guy went a little far. But I think you guys are deliberately refusing to face what happened there: A professional agent provocateur deliberately rushed the candidate's car, and started thrusting something through the window repeatedly, in order to provoke a reaction that would provide some bad looking visuals just before the election. Yeah, the whole thing was premeditated. It was premeditated on HER part. That's what she does. The fact that that's what she does is part of why the media aren't terribly enthusiastic about running the video: Even before the second video showing why she was taken down started circulating, they had a pretty good idea what was up. The fact that the people who took her down sent for the police was a bit of a giveaway, I know I always call 911 to come by and witness it, when I get the idea to beat somebody up. Doesn't everybody?

    I think you folks have a pretty good idea what was up there, too, you're just too enthused about an excuse to call people you don't like "brownshirts" to admit it.

  25. Brett: "Indeed I did, Benny, but I caught the “stomped on shoulder” part…."

    I'm sure everyone's guilty of this, but it is just amazing how we see what we want to see. There is NO QUESTION, if you bother to watch the video at least somewhat closely, that the dude's heel comes down on the woman's head, almost surely at the level of her ear. And her head responds as a head would with something like a heal pushing down on it. But Brett keeps sticking with the "stomped on her shoulder" line. Yes, he stomped on her shoulder. And on her head. Brett, trying to deny this makes the rest of your argument less credible.

  26. Brett doesn't HAVE an argument except "LOL THE LIBTARD GOT PWNED!" As a libertarian, he's against the initiation of force, except against liberals. And, apparently, women.

  27. So your argument, Dan, is that the people present should not have acted in response to what looked like an assault on the candidate, until somebody had a chance to triangulate photos taken from different angles and mathematically prove the sign entered the car?

  28. Brett,

    So a political activist wanted to go to a rally and stir trouble? Ok, so what? Someone grabbed her and pinned her to the ground. Ok, no big deal right? Then, while she is restrained by someone twice her size, another individual steps on her head. Your reaction is to excuse this behavior. "Wouldn’t be a hoot if she got charged with assault with a sign after this was all over?"

    Wouldn't it be a hoot if a woman was raped and then charged with indecent behavior? Lolz!

    Besides, he stepped on her shoulder so it doesn't matter, right? Create your own reality!

    At the 5 second mark you can clearly see his foot on her head. But not if you are a libertarian! Suddenly a head becomes a shoulder, therefore it doesn't matter!

  29. The heel of the person assaulting her is clearly level with her ear on the second stamp down. Last time I checked the ear is on the head not the shoulder and one stamps with the heel not the toes.

    Saying it was on her shoulder is just an outright lie.

  30. Brett: "So your argument, Dan, is that the people present should not have acted in response to what looked like an assault on the candidate . . ."

    So your argument, Brett, has no credibility after your lie about where the stomp was. If you can see a stomp on the shoulder just because the toes from a stomp beginning near the middle of her head lands on her shoulder while the heel lands on her ear, then I have no doubt you could see what "looked" like an assault on the candidate that never occurred.

    Bottom line is the only assaults that actually occurred were by Paul's supporters on the sign bearer.

    Now, I guess that means that the tea partier who was carrying at a liberal event could be shot because someone thought he was about to shoot . . .

    But then you have always had double standards, Brett.

  31. Brett: "So your argument, Dan, is that the people present should not have acted in response to what looked like an assault on the candidate, until somebody had a chance to triangulate photos taken from different angles and mathematically prove the sign entered the car?"

    Again, absolutely amazing how the human brain can do weird stuff, in this case because I guess the person with that brain feels attacked. I noted that you, Brett, continued to deny that the woman's head was stepped on even though it clearly was. In other words, when you wrote "The reports keep saying “stomped on head”, but if you watch the video, you can clearly see the idiot stepping on her shoulder"–well, you were wrong. Shoulder stomped on–yes. Head also stepped on–yes.

    In response you make a sarcastic comment intended to attribute to me a belief about how people there should have responded?! Are you aware that you are just changing the subject? This is like a child, at the moment they are caught with their hand in the cookie jar, yelling "Billy pulled my hair yesterday."

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