Local news footage captured Monday evening's jarring Kentucky scuffle in which a Rand Paul supporter aggressively stepped on the head of a Moveon.org protester before a televised Senate debate. The one-minute video showed campaign supporters grabbing the protester, Lauren Valle, and throwing her to the ground to restrain her. It drew immediate outrage, forcing both candidates to decry the incident. Several days later, the now-infamous "head stomper" and assaulted "head stompee" have been given additional airtime to voice their wildly varying interpretations of the event.
- Interpretation #1: "Head Stomper" Tim Proffit (Rand Paul Supporter, Campaign Volunteer) Proffit tells local station WKYT that his actions were misunderstood, "I feared for [Rand's] safety," he explained. What the video doesn't show is Valle's "aggressive behavior." According to Proffit, Valle "rushed Rand Paul's car three times" and refused to stop. "We thought she was a danger; we didn't know what she was doing." After the supporter wrestled Valle to the ground he stepped on her head because "he can't bend over because of back problems." Police have charged Mr. Proffit with assault and he will appear before a judge.
- Interpretation #2: "Head Stompee" Lauren Valle (Moveon.org Activist) Rand's campaign was aware of Valle because she had run local "satirical" events tying Republicans to "corporate America." In a conversation with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, she explains that right before the videotape began Rand Paul supporters formed a "blockade" around her so she couldn't reach the car to deliver her message. As she tried to skirt around the supporters they pursued her to the front of Rand Paul's car (the car is shown in the video) and "that's when I'm pulled down" and "my head is stomped on." Olbermann asks her if she was perceived as a threat to Paul's safety, and she replies that the campaign knew what she was trying to do. She plans to proceed with the legal process in the case.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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