Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Six Charged in Town Hall Incident

The Post-Dispatch has the details. Interestingly, reporter Jake Wagman was charged with "interference," which seem pretty questionable given the video. And McCowan and Molens are charged with both misdemeanor assault and, "interfering with police." It seems like the video, which didn't capture the original altercation, should tell us quite a bit about the claim that they were "interfering with the police."

Molens was interviewed for the story and denied the charges:

Reached about his own case, Molens said, "These charges are ridiculous." He added, "All I was doing was coming to the help of a friend. I don’t know what evidence they’re basing this on."

Molens said McCowan, who could not be reached for comment, was defending himself and he was defending McCowan.

"I’ll plead not guilty," Molens said. "I didn’t do anything."
Gladney claims that it should have been a felony.

Not really much new information here, other than the fact that they were willing to move forward with charges, but a trial would certainly be interesting.

Update:  For those keeping score, and I can tell from some of the attempted stalker-comments that some people are, this is hardly a confirmation of the tea party story.  The tea party activists claimed from the beginning that Gladney was "brutally beaten," and that this was a hate crime, so the fact that the charges were misdemeanors rather than felonies means that at best the charges have come out somewhere in between what they were advocating and my skepticism.   But, when you throw in the fact that wingnuts have claimed that everyone from President Obama to the director of Health Care For America Now to Carnahan's Communication Director is directly responsible for the fight, they still come out looking ridiculous.  

Furthermore, this is my quote from August 10:

However, I'll evaluate the police report the same way any intelligent person should evaluate any purported piece of evidence: by examining what evidence and reasoning is used to support the claim. If the report comes out in favor of Gladney's story but is based entirely on the testimony of right-wing activists with a vested political interest in the story going a certain way, I will not be persuaded. Likewise, if the report came out saying Gladney was the instigator but was based entirely on Elston McCowan's testimony, I would think that it does not provide much evidence (and I'm sure you'd agree).

As I mention above, I don't think much has changed.  I've explained before why I'm not convinced that the witnesses are trustworthy.  So I'll evaluate the evidence as it comes out.

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