St. Louis Public Radio News
7:48 am
Tue August 18, 2009

Gladney wants NAACP investigation; group says it never received complaint

St. Louis – Kenneth Gladney, the African American man who says he was beaten up by members of the Service Employees International Union, wants the NAACP to investigate his case.

Gladney has been held up as a symbol by some opponents of a health care overhaul as proof that the Obama Administration is using union members as thugs.

Gladney said he was beaten while selling flags at a town hall meeting on health care in St. Louis County two weeks ago, a claim he repeated at a news conference Monday.

"I was out there trying to just make a dollar," Gladney said. "And for something like this to happen to me is just tragic. I wouldn't want this to happen to anyone."

The SEIU is challenging Gladney's account. And NAACP President Claude Brown said neither Gladney, nor his attorney has contacted them to file a complaint.

"We're looking for whoever was aggrieved, or feel they were aggrieved, to come in and file a complaint," Brown said. "The conversation comes after the complaint, not before."

Gladney's attorney David Brown said his client's case should be prosecuted as a hate crime.