First, as Durbin writes, Gladney was selling buttons and flags for Brown at the event:
The buttons were manufactured or purchased by Brown (that's how he knows Kenneth, who was selling them for Brown)The fact that Gladney is an employee of Brown raises some issues about how trustworthy a source Brown is about what happened at the scene of the altercation. He clearly has a financial interest in the story going a particular way. In fact, he says he is planning a "liberty tour" with Gladney around the country to raise awareness "for the children." That sounds like a nice opportunity to raise some funds. Furthermore, why does Brown identify himself only as a "friend" of Gladney in all of the interviews and statements? Shouldn't he be telling people that he was Gladney's employer at the event? For example, here's part of his initial press statement:
Kenneth was attacked on the evening of August 6, 2009 at Rep. Russ Carnahan’s town hall meeting in South St. Louis County. I was at the town hall meeting as well and witnessed the events leading up to the attack of Kenneth. Kenneth was approached by an SEIU representative as Kenneth was handing out “Don’t Tread on Me” flags to other conservatives. The SEIU representative demanded to know why a black man was handing out these flags. The SEIU member used a racial slur against Kenneth, then punched him in the face. Kenneth fell to the ground. Another SEIU member yelled racial epithets at Kenneth as he kicked him in the head and back. Kenneth was also brutally attacked by one other male SEIU member and an unidentified woman. The three men were clearly SEIU members, as they were wearing T-shirts with the SEIU logo.Brown says, "I was at the town hall meeting," but not, "Kenneth was working for me." In the interest of full disclosure, he should be making their exact arrangement clear.
But more importantly, you can see on the original video that Brown grabs his button board and flees the scene! Here's is a slightly edited version of what I wrote earlier:
Here's Brown at a "protest" outside of SEIU(click for a larger image):
And here's Mr. Brown in the video you're about to see:
Amazingly, I think he's even wearing the same shirt. BTW, you can more easily tell that they're the same person by watching the videos. And note that it makes sense that Brown, who is employing Gladney and apparently this other person to sell buttons, is accompanying the button board.
Now, check out this video of Brown and another employee outside the Carnahan event, selling buttons. Note Brown's clothes.
(BTW, I should mention that I don't condone how Javonne is acting here, and I see that she apologizes as well).
Next up is the video from the night in question as a point of reference:
And here's a couple of amazing screenshots. After the fight breaks out, the same man with a blue shirt and khaki shorts (David Brown) walks over to the button board:
Then, absolutely freaking amazingly, while the police are talking with people about the incident where his "friend" and employee was supposedly assaulted, Brown grabs his board and high-tails it outta there!
This, to me, raises a huge number of serious questions. First, is Brown tampering with evidence at the scene of the fight? Why would he immediately be moving stuff that is at the center of the dispute? Why isn't he asking his "friend" how he's doing? Why is he in such a hurry to get out of there? Couldn't he have stayed near his merchandise and the crowd with no problems? The fact that Brown makes an effort to get out of there as soon as he can (or at least get his stuff out of there; I don't know if he later returned to the scene) suggests that he is trying to avoid responsibility for something, which in turn suggests that the story he and Gladwell is telling is not accurate.
David Brown has a lot of questions to answer.
Update: I changed the title to better reflect the fact that Brown left the scene of the crime with his button board, and then returned later.