Town Hall Protester Roughed Up by SEIU Members

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 7, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: As we told you, some of the town hall forums on health care are getting pretty rowdy. One confrontation outside a St. Louis gathering got especially heated, and activist Kenneth Gladney said that he was physically assaulted and racially insulted. Six people were arrested, two on suspicion of assault. Mr. Gladney joins us now from St. Louis, along with his attorney, David Brown, who witnessed the altercation.

David, what happened here? I mean, let's go to Kenneth first. Kenneth, I read all the stories. I read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, listened to 97.1 FM talk today. What happened?

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KENNETH GLADNEY, SAYS HE WAS ASSAULTED AT PROTEST: Well, first, I was there to sell, you know, flags and buttons and stuff that said, "Don't tread on me." And I was setting out there, and I guess something got — just went through my head. I said I'm just going to give them away and stuff like that. So a pastor's wife walked up to me, and she just took a liking to some of the buttons. So I start showing her some of the buttons and everything. This guy walked up and he said, "Who in the — who in the blank is selling or giving away this stuff here?" I said, "Sir, this is my merchandise. And would you like a flag or a button or something like that?" And he said, "What kind of 'n' are you to be giving this stuff out."

INGRAHAM: Now was this man — I'm sorry to interrupt. But Kenneth, was this man — did he happen to be African-American? I read somewhere that...

GLADNEY: Yes, he was.


GLADNEY: He was. Yes, he was.

INGRAHAM: OK, and so he was a member of the SEIU, you thought, because one report I saw, he was wearing some type of shirt or something that said SEIU on it?

GLADNEY: Yes. He is one of the union members. And...

INGRAHAM: OK. David, I want to go to you. I mean, this is scary stuff. But as far as I can tell, the union thugs, you know, roughed up your client.

DAVID BROWN, ATTORNEY FOR KENNETH GLADNEY: Well, it's been going on for 100 years in America, so I guess it's nothing new, Laura.

INGRAHAM: Well, so what — what's the status now? I mean, Kenneth, how are you feeling? I understand you were in the E.R. last night and you were overnight in the hospital.

GLADNEY: I'm still in pain, and, you know, I have headaches and stuff like that. My shoulder was bruised, and my knee was bruised and stuff like that.

INGRAHAM: And this involved two men. Two men, Kenneth, came at you?

GLADNEY: Actually, it involved four people.

INGRAHAM: Did they all hit you? Did they all hit you?


INGRAHAM: They all did. So they surrounded you?

GLADNEY: Yes, they surrounded me. Actually, after the first two guys got me on the ground, they surrounded me and started kicking me in the head and in the back, and the knees and stuff like that. And after it was done, I got up, kind of dazed, looking for my glasses. And the one guy actually was coming at me again, and that's when the police came in and, you know, cordoned off everything and started, you know, started arresting people.

INGRAHAM: And David, we're almost out of time but you witnessed this entire thing, didn't you?

BROWN: Yes, I did. It was a frightening sight to see a friend of yours in such a situation where he was doing nothing wrong. He was exercising his freedom of speech. And to see the hatred there was horrible.

INGRAHAM: Gentlemen, we appreciate it. Sorry to interrupt. But investigation by police continues.

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