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POLITICS

Crowder footage of Michigan fight is ambiguous

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins

 

Steve Crowder of Fox News has now posted what he says is the complete, edited footage of his melee with a union protester in Michigan earlier this month. Crowder has said he is cooperating with police and pressing charges, claiming he was assaulted by the protester. Unions advocates and liberal pundits have countered that the footage was edited.

My own analysis is that the footage is ambiguous. We see Crowder mostly talking with the union protester, often with his hands halfway up in an apparent effort to indicate he doesn’t want trouble. The protester looks to be in his 50s and has a black jacket, black hat and white mustache and is visibly angry. There is so much croud noise the audio is often hard to make out. Chants used by the protesters include “F**k this tent” (directed at the Americans for Prosperity tent they later tear down) and “Snyder is a d**k.” Crowder appears calm while the protesters are often in his face.

At around the 5:40 mark, the fight begins. The protester in the black jacket is shown to have fallen to the ground as the crowd is tearing down the tent. Just prior to that he had been shown having words with another bearded individual in front of the tent while Crowder is nearby. The protester calls the other fellow a “f**king rat.” About two seconds later the protester is on the ground. A voice, apparently Crowder’s, is heard saying: “You just assaulted me, man.”

It is not clear how the man fell. The camera – which is often jostled in the clip – happens to be pointed in a different direction at that precise moment. It is not clear if Crowder shoved him, or if somebody else did or if it was a simple accident. Crowder has said he believes the man tripped over a tent peg. The protester though apparently believes that Crowder was responsible and hops back up swinging at the younger man, who tries to wrestle with him. The protester appears to get in two or three solid punches before they are separated, with Crowder again putting his hands up in an “I don’t want to fight” gesture. A voice can be heard saying: “He’s got a gun.” No gun is seen though, and the fight is apparently over. A second man in a tan overcoat is briefly shown grabbing Crowder from the collar from behind but he lets go.

 

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