Opinion: Tim Profitt blames police and his bad back for his Kentucky stomp and wants victim to apologize to him
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Tim Profitt, the admitted Kentucky head-stomper and Rand Paul volunteer, wants his victim to apologize to him.
‘I don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Profitt told WKYT television Tuesday in Lexington, Ky. regarding the controversy surrounding his violent reaction to Lauren Valle attempting to pose with a sign next to the Republican nominee for Senate. ‘I would like for her to apologize to me, to be honest with you.’
Before the incident, Profitt was the Bourbon County coordinator for Paul. On Tuesday, the campaign distanced itself from Profitt and relieved him of his duties. Quite a turnaround considering that, the day before, Profitt’s name was included on a full-page newspaper ad that included Paul supporters.
What led to the incident? Upon viewing this video that was uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday, Valle, wearing a red hoodie and carrying a sign, appears to rush toward Paul’s open window as his vehicle approached the debate. She is pulled away from the window by Paul supporters. Then once the SUV has stopped, she runs around the vehicle toward Paul a second time. It is then she is brought down.
Conservative blog Red State says this newly surfaced video sheds doubt on Valle’s claims that the Paul people were out to get her.
‘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,’ RedState Insider blogged. ‘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.’ ‘
WKYT interviewed Profitt on Tuesday, and although he admitted to the violence, he asked that the news camera not show his face.
‘I put my foot on her, and I did push her down at the very end, and I told her to stay down,’ Proffitt explained. ‘I actually put my foot on her to ... I couldn’t bend over because I have issues with my back.’
Profitt, who has been charged with assault, continued to blame police. ‘Well I’ll just say it, if the police had done what they were supposed to do, it would have never happened,’ Profitt told WKYT. Earlier, he told the Associated Press that his friend had asked police officers to arrest Valle. ‘A friend of mine went up to three policeman before Rand got there and told them about the girl who was standing there with that wig on and that she was getting ready to do something,’ Profitt told the Associated Press. ‘The policemen looked at him and said, ‘That’s not our job.’ ‘
Tuesday, Valle appeared on MSNBC’s ‘Countdown With Keith Olbermann,’ where she said that she would pursue legal action. ‘We are proceeding with the legal process,’ said Valle, who was at the Rand Paul / Jack Conway debate on assignment from her employer, MoveOn.org. ‘I plan to see the process through. I think it’s very important for people to be held responsible for this sort of behavior.’
[Updated 2:31 p.m.: When asked if she thought that Valle could have concerned volunteers by rushing toward Paul’s vehicle as it was moving, and then later rushing at Paul himself when he was walking toward the venue, Ilyse Hogue, director of political advocacy and communications for MoveOn.org, told The Times that no one should have felt the candidate was in any danger from the young woman.
‘Lauren made no secret of the fact that she was trying to get a picture with Rand Paul and her satirical sign at this event. If the candidate, or any of his supporters, felt threatened by a girl with a poster, once they had pulled her away from the car, the threat had passed,’ Hogue wrote in an e-mailed statement. ‘Nothing justifies the violence of her head being stomped on the curb once she was on the ground. This is nothing less than the men involved, and the Paul campaign, once again trying to justify an obvious assault once they have been exposed.’
In a separate statement sent to The Times earlier Wednesday, Hogue said she was offended by Profitt’s statements to the media.
‘I am offended and outraged by the words of Tim Profitt, the Rand Paul campaign worker who, with two other men, threw 23-year-old Lauren Valle to the ground and then stomped on her head, leaving her with a concussion. Profitt said the attack was ‘not a big deal,’ that Lauren ‘instigated it’ and that ‘she should apologize’ -- words that are eerily familiar to many women who have faced assault and abuse,’ Hogue wrote. ‘Lauren’s exercise of her 1st Amendment rights cannot possibly justify the violence against her any more than a woman’s clothes can excuse a sexual assault. If Tim Profitt can get away with blaming Lauren for his attack on her, then women -- and all those speaking out for their beliefs in this political climate -- will have reason to fear. Candidates on both sides of the aisle, including Rand Paul, must condemn Profitt’s outrageous statements and call out this violence for what it is: anti-women and anti-American.’]
-- Tony Pierce