Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Exclusive: X-Rays and Medical Reports Prove Kenneth Gladney Wrong

On August 6, there was an altercation outside of Russ Carnahan's town hall that involved Kenneth Gladney, Reverend Elston McCowan, and Perry Molens. The St. Louis Tea Party originally claimed that the video of the event showed a "brutal beating" of Gladney at the hands of "SEIU thugs" McCowan and Molens. However, the video is clearly inconclusive, and only shows Molens pulling Gladney backwards. Even Molens' pull is impossible to interpret without knowing the context, given that it looks as though Molens and another man might have been preventing Gladney from attacking McCowan as McCowan was lying on the ground.

Since the original incident, the St. Louis Tea Party and their patron Andrew Breitbart have been shamelessly trying to exploit the fight for political gain. The Tea Party has literally blamed everyone from President Obama to Congressman Russ Carnahan to HCAN National Field Director Margarida Jorge for the incident. They suggested there was a conspiracy among local prosecutors, and falsely accused County Counselor Patricia Reddington of not looking at the medical reports (BTW, they still haven't apologized for blatantly lying about Reddington). They even accused the local animal control department of firing Gladney's brother as political payback, and eventually (amazingly) took back their ridiculous assertion.

The tea party conspiracy theories about "thugs" being ordered by Obama or SEIU to beat up random vendors outside of health care events are clearly false. But I've also raised a number of questions about the claims that Gladney, his attorney, and the tea party have made about the particular events that took place that evening. And a great many people found the claim that Gladney was assaulted especially suspicious given the fact that Gladney did not look injured in the original video and then showed up in a wheelchair several days later at a Tea Party press event.

But I think I've just come across even more damning evidence for the official tea party/Gladney story of what happened that evening. Gladney has claimed, on multiple occasions, that Elston McCowan laid down on the ground and grabbed his arm, pretending to be injured. You can see Gladney making this claim in the following clip from Fox News:


And even Mr. McCowan, he laid himself on the ground after he kicked me, after the other people were jumping on me and kicking me and stuff, he laid himself on the ground like he was hurt.
Fox News lady:
Ahhh, so you're going back to the videotape and saying your attacker suddenly was on the ground next to you after he had attacked you.
Yeah, he was crying to the police officer, "oh, my arm's broke." Yeah, if his arm is broke it's from hitting me in my face.

Reverend McCowan has provided me with his medical reports from that night and a follow-up appointment three weeks later, including X-Rays, MRI, and CT Scans, that clearly show Gladney's claims to be false.

First, here is a scanned copy of McCowan's medical report from that night, August 6:

Elston McCowan Medical Report

The report states:
Conclusion: The appears to be an avulsion off the inferior rim of the glenoid. This can be associated with dislocations.

Here is an X-Ray from the evening, showing McCowan's dislocated shoulder:

McCowan went back for CT Scans and MRI's a couple weeks later, which were more conclusive and showed multiple fractures:

McCowan Followup
This report states:
Findings: Transverse sections are obtained through the left shoulder without contrast from which multiplanar re-formulations are obtained. A small Hill-Sachs impaction fracture is present. A large osseous Bankart fracture is observed. the fracture fragment measures up to 3 cm in maximal dimension and is slightly comminuted. It is displaced slightly anteroinferiorly.

In other words, Rev. McCowan clearly suffered a pretty serious injury the night of the altercation. All of this is incredibly damning for Gladney's bizarre clam that McCowan laid down to fake an injury, which probably explains why Gladney's spokesperson/lawyer David Brown had this look on his face while Gladney was talking:

So, to sum up, we can see that Elston McCowan is laying helplessly on his back at the beginning of the video. His medical reports clearly indicate that he was badly injured. In fact, we can even see from a still frame from the video that it appears as though Gladney is still trying to attack McCowan at the beginning of the video:

Yet Gladney seriously wants to claim that McCowan was faking an injury? This raises a number of questions. First, why would Gladney feel a need to make such a bizarre and clearly false claim that McCowan had "laid himself down" to fake an injury? Is Gladney afraid to explain the real reason McCowan was on the ground? If Gladney is willing to blatantly misrepresent something this serious, what else could he be misrepresenting about the evening? And finally, and most interesting for me, what are Breitbart and the Tea Party going to do if they can't flog this issue every time a discussion about political violence or racism comes up?


  1. The thing that strikes me as bizarre is that I've watched the video a number of times now and Gladney is up walking around just fine after the fact. When Ms. Loesch repeatedly says "brutal beating" when referring to Mr. Gladney, I often wonder what sort of world she grew up in.

    I've seen rumblings on the playground that were a great deal more violent than that. All said, it appears to me that all parties were pretty juvenile here. I don't condone the violence of/towards Mr. Gladney or Mr. McCowan or others involved.

    Right now it appears Mr. Gladney's looking for a pay-out in a civil trial. I wish him luck with that. He'll need to prove irreparable harm and damages. Ironically, I think the real damage is to his integrity and personal honor by throwing his lot in with these people only interested in exploiting him as a talking point. That's fine too. I'm all about self-made choices. Maybe it'll be a learning experience for him.

    Finally, Loesch and Breitbart do real victims a great disservice by the forced comparisons in order to score political points. I can't fathom how they sleep at night, but maybe they really are convinced they're doing all of this for some greater good. Maybe.

  2. Perhaps the rest of you are better educated but I just wanted to point out that fracture is the term that the medical profession uses for break. I thought that fracture was a lesser degree until I broke my wrist and had to ask the doctors what made mine only a fracture.

  3. Lol at Mark. That's funny. I think fracture is used in the medical world b/c there are varying degrees of fracture. Everything from a hairline to when the bone breaks in two and comes out of the skin.

    Adam, seriously thank you. The Tea Party has repeatedly beat this dead horse over and over and over again. Never admitting to sensationalizing the incident, and acting as though the rest of us can't watch the video and see for ourselves that there was, in fact, no apparent brutal beating. I know it isn't that odd for the Tea Party folks to never admit when they are wrong, but there is video evidence here.

    Next, what is even worse is the pressure the Tea Party put on the prosecuting attorneys office to pursue charges in this case. As some one in the criminal justice field, I can assure you they have plenty of other cases of a much more serious nature to spend their time on.

    Lastly, in looking at McCowan's injuries, why was Gladney not charged with assault?

    The Tea Party is trying to make the liberals out to be the violent, hate filled group, and I know this is false. I would love to see someone on the national stage set the record straight once and for all. Call Loesch, Loudin, Hennessey, and Hoft out for the liars they are.

  4. Trial starts tomorrow, yes? How likely is it that the case will be thrown out of court on it's first day?