Tyler Davidson, just after assaulting an officerForty years of martial arts training--38 of them as a black belt--makes me intimately familiar with justifiable use of force. This YouTube video purported to be "4 cops beating the shit out of a UMass student for no reason" during the Meadow Street Mayhem last Saturday afternoon is a perfect example...Of what is justifiable.
First of all they are Amherst Police Department officers, not UMass--although both departments are highly trained. What the camera does not show is 1,000 other students on the quad that sunny afternoon, or the perp's physical provocation towards police in the moments leading up to his arrest. Or the previous calls to APD for help at the scene dealing with loud noise, thrown bottles, and drunken fistfights.
What I find more interesting in this juvenile report published on Barstoolsports.com, is not so much the attempt to discredit APD (or UMPD) by whipping up sympathy for a drunken fool who deserves to be expelled from school, but the email to tenants from a landlord who seems to be feeling the public pressure to tighten the way he runs his housing ship.
Even more interesting, it was Kendrick Property Management who first called 911 to warn of a large gathering coming together in the quad area of Townhouse Apartments that Saturday afternoon, an apartment complex they manage.
The mayhem over Patriots Day weekend included not only this incident but far more serious ones: two drunken driving arrests, passed out drunk students overwhelming our emergency services by tying up all five ambulances simultaneously, and the horrific accident on the Amherst/Hadley line that took the life of a 24 year old UMass student (and a Amherst resident) about to graduate, killed by a wrong way driver.
And of course the slobfest of 1,000 college aged youths (code for UMass students) taking over Puffers Pond and leaving in their wake a boatload of debris. Just how to do you think most of those kids made it back to their dwellings after that pernicious public party early Monday night?
Our roads are not safe (cue Jim Morrison, "There's a killer on the road"); our neighborhoods not conducive to raising families! And it's only going to get worse over the next three or four weekends. The Amherst Select Board, our highest ranking elected public officials, needs to act. Now.
Request District Attorney Dave Sullivan coordinate with State Police, APD, and UMPD a Driving Under the Influence roadblock in Amherst, near UMass, before graduation.
Request Senator Stan Rosenberg and Representative Ellen Story file state legislation to allow local municipal bylaw fine violations (noise, nuisance, alcohol) be increased to a maximum of $500 from the current $300.
Issue a sternly worded statement to the local media--especially the Mass Daily Collegian--giving voice to the outrage.
Even Fanboys on UmassHoops.com are starting to get it
Editors Note; UMass is the #3 employer in Western Massachusetts and has been Amherst's #1 employer for over 100 years. Every September Amherst is blessed to have thousands of exuberant new consumers flock to the University for the first time. 99% of UMass students are industrious, mature, decent individuals driving on the road to success. It's the 1% you read about here. And they need to change their act.