The above video is the cell phone footage taken by Jon Taylor’s son during his arrest in Louisa, Virginia. Something has made me uncomfortable about this video for the past 24 hours.

First off, we have to footage of what precipitated this scuffle. From what I can tell, Taylor, his wife and son went to the Solid Grounds Coffee Shop on Main Street in downtown Louisa. They had accepted an RSVP on the Cantor Website. Ms. Taylor was carrying a sign for Canter’s opponent.

According to the Richmond Times Dispatch:

The car, parked at a meter directly in front of the restaurant, was Taylor’s. His wife sat inside. A poster for Democratic candidate Rick Waugh, calling Cantor a chicken, was taped to the car window facing the coffee shop.

Taylor said Cantor had promoted the event on his website, so he assumed it was a public event.

“We RSVP’d,” he said.

He and three other Democrats went inside the coffee shop with the intent of asking questions of Cantor, who has declined to debate Waugh.

Taylor said the coffee shop’s owner asked the Democrats to leave. When they refused, the police escorted them outside.

Taylor said he was body-slammed to the ground. The three others were issued summonses for trespassing.

Cantor arrived after the disturbance, entering the coffee shop by the rear door. He spoke for about 10 minutes, shook hands with the guests and left.

If the Solid Grounds Coffee Shop was open for business during the normal work day, then it might be in some trouble. Was anyone else allowed to bring in signs? If yes, then the owner could not allow some signs and not others. What exactly were the Democrats doing disruptive?   It appeared to be open to the public.  Shop owners are not allowed to just cater to a certain group if open to the public.  Remember the segregated dining establishments?  That didn’t work then and it won’t work now. 

It sounds to me like the Solid Grounds Coffee Shop should have closed for the event and just allowed their own kind inside the doors. Virginia is not a state where this kind of behavior is really an acceptable standard of behavior. If you are invited, via a website, to an open event, and especially if you have RSVP’ed, those tresspassing charges are going to be mighty hard to stick. In fact, I would be looking for a lawyer if I owned the coffee shop and also if I were the Louisa bubba sheriff’s dept.

Something just isn’t right here. Political dissent is normal and should be expected. If the event was just for Cantor supporters, invitations should have been issued and collected at the door. Events like these should have security to ensure these sort of events don’t get out of control. The entire unfortunate episode seems like amateur day in the country. Everyone should have done better, especially the Louisa County Sheriff’s department who just look absurd and ridiculous. 

Not wanting to risk debates, Cantor risks come ugly campaign scenes. One happened Monday in Louisa where he appeared in a small coffee shop, supposedly to meet voters.

One man attending was John Taylor, a member of the Louisa County Democratic Committee and backer of Rick Waugh, Cantor’s Democratic opponent. Taylor and two others were asked to leave the coffee shop, told that it was sudenly “private property.” County police then subdued Taylor, as can be scene in this video shot by his son with his cell phone.

Events like these raise questions about the decorum of the man who would be in such a powerful position on Capitol Hill. If Cantor says he wants to debate voters, as he did emphatically during his “Young Guns” book tour, he should do so and not hide behind GOP gatekeepers, a newspaper where his wife has influence and a rural police department.

Peter Galuszka of Bacon’s Rebellion Blog  also has some observations that question the on again off again concept of private property.   Virginians need to be assured that incidents like this do not happen during an election cycle ever again.  We are not thugs.

19 Thoughts to “Virginia Thugs???”

  1. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Taylor and two others were asked to leave the coffee shop, told that it was sudenly “private property.”

    Umm, “suddenly private property”? I have a hunch the coffee shop was private property for hours before this, maybe even days! Private property is private property, the owner can throw the guy out if he wants, and if the guy doesn’t leave, the police have to escort the guy out! End of discussion.

  2. But, it is open to the public.

    If the owner had shut down to the public I would have no problem with him telling them to get out. If the owner had said no signs in my shop, I would agree he could ask them to leave. But if others have signs, the owner is on shaking grounds.

    As I understand it, it was a public event.

  3. Slow, if your scenerio were all that was needed, then you could bar any people you wanted to from your eating establishment. Blacks, Pakistanis, etc.

    If the police had stopped with an escort out, things might also be different. They had to play into everyone’s stereotypical mental image of what a bubba cop looks like and how he behaves.

    When a private business opens to the public, fair play kicks in.

    Did other people have signs? What was different about Mrs. Taylor’s sign?

    I would really need to know more about the Taylor behavior inside. That seems to be the big missing piece of information.

    The event which was public but private needed to be set up totally differently. The owner is very legally vulnerable at the moment and so are the cops. The Taylors might be also but from all reports, he looks victimized.

  4. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Moon-howler :Slow, if your scenerio were all that was needed, then you could bar any people you wanted to from your eating establishment. Blacks, Pakistanis, etc.

    That’s correct, private property. And what do you suppose happens to an establishment that bars people like that? They go out of business, and people can protest all day long just outside the private property. Once again, the free market fixes the problem, no government required.

  5. Elena

    They should have CLOSED the coffee shop if they wanted to keep it as a private event. Once again, all this blather about the consitution only applies to tea party “patriots” ?

  6. @Slow, that worked out real well for blacks in the south, didn’t it? (Probably the north also)

    The courts had to intervene.

    I doubt that one incident is going to make or break someone’s business, regardless of how egregious. We really don’t live in a totally free market society. We have regulations for the safety and protection of everyone. I actually have grown weary of free market discussions. We have all seen the result of free markets. Buffalo. Decimated. Extincton.

    It is a utopian belief with very little practical application in real society.

  7. In terms of principles, it was wrong for the blacks to be segregated. However, when the segregation was ended, many black businesses failed. So the free market did work. But, sometimes there are other principles at stake other than the free market.

    What saved the buffalo was the change in fashion and the difficulty of finding more buffalo. Not regulation.

  8. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Eventually, those businesses that refused to serve blacks in the 50s would have felt the pressure or faced the wrath of society. Actually, I lived in southern Mississippi for a couple of years. Segregation is still alive, it’s just not talked about or enforced, it just happens.

  9. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    I know liberals don’t want to hear about free markets, and I know they’re sick of hearing about free markets. I see it from the administration practically every day.

  10. @Slow, it was that way for many years. I saw no signs of change.

    As for free markets…I tend to think of the railroads and the buffalo excursion trips. An entire species was almost wiped out forever because of the free market.

    Tell me what YOU mean when you say free market. Let’s at least discuss from an agreed upon definition.

  11. AmosGraber

    This incident and the Rand Paul stomp incident is just the beginning of the dismal effects the tea party promoted candidates will instill upon the freedoms of America. If anyone doesn’t agree with them, then they have the right to silence their dissent.

    Freedom is being flushed down the toilet from angry middle class white people, who have been brain washed to believe the lies which flow from the FOXLies channel daily. This is a sad day in America; we cannot let small minded fearful uneducated white people to destroy the liberties of this country, just because they are part of a weird cultish movement promoted by the like of Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Beck and Hannity.

    You would think when they show up to a Tea Party event, and they look around and see a majority of the people who look just like themselves, middle class, mostly over 40, and white, one would think a sane person would ask the question, why does this event resemble a NASCAR event!!!

  12. Emma

    Judging from the pitch and volume of Taylor and son’s protests, they got exactly the made-for-YouTube-response they were trying to provoke.

    1. The kid is holding the cell phone. He is louder. Mr. Taylor has his arms being bent backwards which is very painful for some people. He also at some point has a 500 pound bubba sheriff or 2 on him.

      I don’t think you have any facts to base your supposition on. How do you know what they are trying to provoke? I don’t think people should be treated that way. Does police brutality not bother you? That really appeared to be out of control behavior on the part of Louisa Co.

  13. Emma

    If my father were being manhandled unjustly, I’m sure the last thing on my mind would be getting the best angle for my cellphone camera and telling one of the cops to stop blocking my filming. You’re seeing what the family wanted you to see, and the footage appears to be edited. Where’s the footage of the events leading up to this incident? I’m not going to feel sorry for these provocateurs if I’m only going to get their side of the story. I’ll worry about police brutality when I have proof that this was just an innocent family walking into a coffee shop with no ulterior motive. They wanted to film brutality to help discredit Cantor, and they unfortunately got it.

    1. @Emma,

      I have stated that I would have liked to have seen it. I have lots of unanswered questions.

      You are offering your opinion as fact however. And the bottom line is, you do not know. You are only guessing based on your ideology.

      The difference in you and me is, I don’t care if they were the biggest DB’s in the world, and they might have been. You shouldn’t have that happen.

      We also don’t know how old the kid was. He might have been raised with enough sense to not jump in on a cop. When I had some DB (word of the day) come around an event table on me because he didn’t like my message, I did pick up my camera and started to take his picture. I think documentation is a natural survival technique when you are generally unempowered. My camera and I both got knocked to the ground. Mr. DB didn’t see the men folks coming back though and he didn’t get a very nice escort from behind the tables. Sucked to be him.

  14. Has this story died on the vine? I actually don’t care who is dem or republican. The sheriff’s department really doesn’t look very good here.

  15. marinm

    I think less people are inclined to voice support here because:

    1. He was on private property, asked to leave, refused, they had to call the cops, he refused the cops, was told if he remained he’d be tresspassing and when forced to leave he was arrested.
    2. He fought a lawman (3) in Virginia.
    3. The video doesn’t show excessive force. That large deputy could’ve probably crushed the guy to death with his weight but it didn’t happen (on a side note — holy moly I didn’t think they made vests that big)

    I guess that’s how the dice are rolled.

  16. Wolverine

    I would hardly call that police brutality. When a cop tells you that you are under arrest, that means the cuffs go on. If you resist the cuffs, that’s what you get. The cops can hardly let a detainee decide whether or not they will put the cuffs on him. So now that guy gets a resisting arrest charge added to his rap sheet, including his own video showing that, because of his resistance, it took no less than three officers to get the cuffs on him. Lucky for him that he didn’t strike an officer in any way. He would have been up the creek without a paddle for certain.

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