August 10, 2009

Kenneth Gladney is doing his best to cash in on his 15 seconds of fame, following his fake "brutal assault" at the hands of SEIU supporters outside a St. Louis "town hall" on health care. Today he went on Fox and Friends with his attorney, Dave Brown, who announced that he wanted local prosecutors to pursue the case as a "hate crime."

Mr. Brown appears to be confused about just what constitutes a "hate crime". Namely, it take more than merely the matter of Gladney being a black man to qualify as such a crime; indeed, the main qualification has to be that a bias motivation has to be present. That is, prosecutors would have to establish that the people being charged were motivated by the victim's race.

Gladney claims that he was called the N-word -- but the man using that word was another black man. Proving a motivation of bias against blacks will be pretty difficult under those circumstances.

Moreover, if you go back and look at the tape, a couple of other things are worth noting:

-- It's the black man with whom Gladney apparently first had a verbal altercation who we see lying on his back on the street when the tape opens. If anyone can claim to be assaulted here, it's this man.

-- It's not clear that any actual assault occurred here at all. Gladney is pushed to the ground by someone trying to clear space for his friend. Certainly, given that Gladney appears to be just fine for most of the rest of the video, there's no evidence that he suffered any harm whatsoever in the incident.

And in order to file a hate-crime charge, any prosecutor will have to prove first that a crime was committed -- well before he can even look into the question of whether it was committed with a bias motivation. Considering that both appear extremely unlikely, Brown and Gladney are clearly both just grandstanding.

Besides ... aren't conservatives opposed to hate-crimes laws as a matter of principle?

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