Monday, January 4, 2016

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Amherst Select Board 12/21/15.  Jim Wald on right

Amherst Select Board member Jim Wald was arrested by Amherst police over the weekend and charged with "Assault on a family member," arraigned before Judge John Payne this morning in Eastern Hampshire District Court where his case was continued to January 28th for a Pretrial Hearing.

Click to enlarge/read

I have not felt this lousy about reporting an event concerning an Amherst town official since that sad Sunday morning in late September when I broke the shocking news of Town Manager John Musante's death at too early an age.

The relatively new Domestic Violence Law, in order to protect victims, requires police to purge from their daily logs any domestic abuse incident, aka Chapter 56A.

In addition, Eastern Hampshire District Court will not provide the police "Statement of Facts" that I rely on with my usual drunk driving or party house arrest reports.

I reached out to Mr. Wald asking him for a statement.   But other than pointing out, "Not everything you read or hear is true or as characterized -- which is why in this country one is innocent until proven guilty," he did not have anything further to say.

Had it been a DPW worker, Dispatcher or Town Hall janitor you would not be reading this report.  But Mr. Wald is a high ranking town official (although at $300/year he makes far less pay than any of those three other examples) who simply must be held to a higher standard.

And a reporter who decides whether or not to report a story based on personal feelings -- good or bad -- towards personalities involved, is a lousy reporter.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Once reported like you did, he is guilty in the court of public opinion and the court of law cannot definitively determine the truth, so this post just serves to adjust his reputation and make sure that he is found when googled.

Oh, and given his position and ties, this article may have initiated revenge from him or his family/friends/coworkers/cooverseers.

I hope what was reported was not true and it is damn good thing that it was not a dpw worker, those folks do a job the town actually needs.

Larry Kelley said...

If you spent any time at all in Eastern Hampshire District Court you would quickly learn that the justice system in our neck of the woods is immune from the "court of public opinion."

Anonymous said...

...and you sir are a lousy reporter. A snitch is a better description of your activity.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, thanks to feminist Nazi groups, the system now wipes any evidence of truth from the records so that the state can prosecute any male it deems "an abuser". In court you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Because of the false notion that men are abusers, these feminist groups have convinced the judicial system that no records should be kept, and that every male is guilty. If you don't know what I am talking about just have a woman accuse you of domestic abuse, even when you didn't do a thing to her and what what happens to you in court, or as my lawyer once said, this court wants to put you behind bars regardless of your innocence; it's how domestic violence cases work.

Larry Kelley said...

I would guess about half the cases of domestic abuse arrests I've seen in District Court over the past few years were women. But since the state is so secretive about this now, I probably could not get an exact breakdown.

Anonymous said...

That would be because nearly half of all domestic abuse is female on male, a fact that shows up continually in every record out there, yet we have such bullshit laws such as the violence against women act which perpetuates the myth that females are victims and males are aggressors.

Anonymous said...

And irony of ironies: HR Clinton agrees that the woman should be believed. Unless the woman in question was abused by her husband, Bill.

Anonymous said...

Men tend not to report female against male abuse. Largely due to embarassment.

Anonymous said...

Jim is a good man. I'm willing to assume innocence/misunderstanding unless proven otherwise.

Larry Kelley said...

So am I.

Anonymous said...

Nice guy hope he gets justice

Dr Ed said...

If you spent any time at all in Eastern Hampshire District Court you would quickly learn that the justice system in our neck of the woods is immune from the "court of public opinion."

I have -- I saw an arrest for an alleged 209A violation result in a Nulle Prosque when Judge Payne realized that the APD was measuring the 300 feet through a solid concrete wall and really wasn't happy about that.

That court views UMass students the way that state courts in the Jim Crow South viewed African-Americans. Public opinion *created* that court, and what I saw there is what convinced me that "Social Justice" demanded I speak out about the bigotry, contempt & prejudice, both on campus and in the community, that UM students are forced to endure, but I digress.

In the back row of that courtroom, in different boyfriend/girlfriend mess, a young lady, a "victim", bluntly stated how she had been pressured to commit perjury.

Badly shaken, she told me, in detail, how the VAWA advocate had encouraged her to fabricate stuff to justify a 209A order -- to embellish what was an unhealthy relationship into one that met the legal definition of "abusive." They attempted to coax her into fabricating facts, and didn't realize how incredibly strong-willed & independent she was -- she simply would not be pressured into saying things she didn't want to say. You'd have to kill her first, and some well-intended people nearly did which is why I have no doubt she was telling me the truth.

In instances of both domestic violence & rape, in situations where the (female) victim was reluctant to press charges because she knew the perp, I knew that she was bullied into doing so -- something I've always had trouble with. I've had rape victims, with the perspective of the passage of time, tell me what they needed most back then was control of their own body. That had been taken from them, and hence they needed to be the one making the decisions if and what the perp would be prosecuted for. It's what is best for the woman versus what's best for society, a question I answer by asking who's body is it?

If it is her body, if we still believe in John Locke's Rights of Man, she should have absolute veto power -- her "no" should be respected here too -- and it isn't.

But it never occurred to me that that are fabricating stuff out of whole cloth - that they are pressuring women to testify to things that never happened.

Throw in the bias against UM students -- well what I saw was enough to convince me not to date anyone in the 413 area code -- not just "from but "in."


Larry Kelley said...

Judge Payne is painstakingly fair with UMass students.

Dr. Ed said...

Men tend not to report female against male abuse. Largely due to embarrassment.

No. It's more how they have interacted with police in the past -- and often the perceptions they have of the officer whom they are considering reporting it to.

I encountered the latter a lot in Student Affairs -- the trivial issue isn't really what that student wants to talk to me about, its something far more serious and quite personal -- the student is trying to determine if I am a "safe" person to trust it with.

And if you are both male and bigger than the police officer, there is the inevitable "bulls**t you're the victim, you're the perp" attitude from the cop(s). One of the things I respect about Barbara O'Connor is that she understands that anyone can be a victim of violence. Few police officers do.

When even the EWC admits that 10% of rape victims are male -- well, where is all this "don't blame the victim" when the victim is male?
And if rape is a "violent crime" (as opposed to being "about sex" -- and it is) then why shouldn't "don't blame the victim" apply to victims of ALL violent crimes?

On the other hand, if you just hate men and want to see men reduced to the status women have in Saudi Arabia -- well, you get what we have now....

Anonymous said...

We don't know if it is a male or female alleging the abuse. We don't know anything about it at all.

Anonymous said...

If you end up at district court always bring your toothbrush or your checkbook, it's the only way out. Nobody ever leaves without needing one or the other. If you are there, you are guilty...

Anonymous said...

I don't know when it happened, but there has been a gradual skew towards far right conservative, women-hating, racist commentators on your blog now. I think I need to give up reading these posts. Stick to Masslive, guys. This is a forum that should not be a haven for your diatribes.

Anonymous said...

1:52 how did you come up with racist? There's always some A-Hole who has to play the race card on everything. Why don't you go over to Masslive.

Anonymous said...

Just yours, I guess.

Dr. Ed said...

The incident I speak of may have opened his eyes -- when the APD couldn't even give a consistent reason for why they arrested the kid, they had at least three completely different ones -- well, the man's not stupid. Retired military I believe.

The APD initially arrested him for an incident that had occurred on campus in front of at least a dozen uniformed UMPD officers who did not arrest him. Even though the arrest occurred off-campus his friends thought he was being arrested by the UMPD for the earlier on-campus incident. QED the officers would have had to say that while arresting him...

The UMPD was clear to me: "We did not arrest him."

Its questionable if the APD would even have jurisdiction to do this, particularly with the mutual aid law defining UMass "as a municipality" in terms of police powers. Above and beyond that, I consider it quite unprofessional -- if the officers who actually witnessed the incident, including command-level ones, made the judgment that no crime occurred, doesn't another department have an obligation to respect that? At least in terms of making an arrest?

Say the Belchertown Chief had lived in South Amherst, and the Granby cop had driven him home to there. Could the APD show up an hour later and arrest him for OUI in Granby?

Larry, if I could, I'd tell you the whole story and you'd be disgusted. As I was, I had thought that the cops were the "good guys" (and gals) -- not folks who would arrest someone just because the mASSgop wants to see hid political career ended.
Your *not* favorite fraternity was involved in this as well -- the one Karl Rove belonged to as an undergrad elsewhere.

Who would have thought that the Town of Amherst worked to advance the agenda of the Republican Party?

NB: I'm not saying that this was a nice young man, nor that I approved of the way he treats women, and have no doubt that he knew the latter. There are a lot of pathological liars, he's the only one that was good enough to fool me -- every fact he cited in his lies checked out (until a certain conference in DC wasn't being held the week it always had been, and he didn't know that...).

He'd also "worn my country's uniform in time of war" -- I believe we who haven't (and I'm 4-F/vision) all owe those who have a little something. Not much, and definitely not a carte blanche pass, but a little bit. I never understood why police officers couldn't understand why I felt this way, particularly *because* I'm 4-F/vision. What we did to the Vietnam Vets was reprehensible...

But this is not a Banana Republic, we throw people in jail for specific things they have done, not at the request of their political enemies.

Anonymous said...

It's a women-hating, racist world. But most of that comes from leftists like yourself. It's no wonder that people are fed up with being told how to act and how to speak by the angry left. Enough.

Anonymous said...

ED...
Start making noise in your town you don't live here...we don't want you...the university doesn't want at least you say but won't say why...
ed see a therpist and get over it or just keep maybe people where you are from will get you the counseling you so desperately need...
Please Ed just keep your opinions elsewhere

Ralph Reed said...

Thanks for your work Mr. Kelly.

Larry Kelley said...

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Ed, bye bye, Ed.

Anonymous said...

I can't see how anyone benefits from this kind of information, Larry. The courts are censoring it for a reason. And though your post reads, "Innocent Until Proven Guilty", you know very well that accusations tend to stick, whether proven or not. Very poor move on your part.

Anonymous said...

Larry, one of the reasons for domestic abuse not being reported to the press is for the family. I usually like your blog, but for this I think you should have thought about them.

Anonymous said...

Whether the court of public opinion influences the government court was not my point. My point is that in the court of public opinion he is guilty. This court is in session for as long as google or a search engine exists. This court is more than happy to punish anyone in his family for this forever. The people interviewing his kids in 10 years will read about this. His great grandchildren will know about this. Their future wives will consider this before the first date (that will occasionally be cancelled because of this).

Why? Because folks in the media, reporters or whatever you want to coin them, use information to increase traffic to get advertisers. If you have had a small business and talked with the radio, papers or TV....you are well aware that those outlets are there for advertisers, not for the public, not for informing the public, that is what is being sold, ads. The content is just the bait to get the traffic to justify the ads, the public is the prey. Larry even made this point in a recent post.

Actions speak louder than words, after this post, it does not matter how many times you, his other friends or the puppet court says his is not guilty - he has been accused of beating on a family member. This will be remembered or found by anyone who looks. He would be wise to get a lot more internet content up about him quick - positive puppy, rainbow type stuff.

Anonymous said...

The Radical Militant Feminist Mantra Faith that " A Woman Can Do No Wrong " espoused by local NELCWIT / Umass EveryWomans Center aside, Britain reports that over 65% of domestic violence is women who assaulted males. This is not "Politically Correct" to those who hold that man hating is not a "Hate Crime ", believe me persecution towards men is a very REAL crime !!!?

Anonymous said...

Ed has the same rights you do to post here or anywhere he likes. The ability to scroll past him belongs to you. Use it.

Anonymous said...

Assault is not Battery
No one is being accused of beating a family member

Larry Kelley said...

Anon 11:39 PM

If I were using this to increase readership for my advertisers I would have done the usual practice of promoting this post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +, which I did not.

If the mayor of nearby city is arrested and charged with assault and battery on a family member it's news. Period. The Select Board is, for the time being, our version of a mayor.

Jackie M'Vemba said...

As opposed to far left, liberal women-hating, racist commentators?

Anonymous said...

Hello Larry at 8:24:

I agree with what you say. A town official being arrested for anything is news, because it affects the official's ability to lead.

But there's no charge of battery. Assault is very different.

Anonymous said...

Correction Larry. He was charged with assault only. Not assault and battery. There is a big difference between the two.

Larry Kelley said...

And clearly I say that in the lead paragraph, as well as publishing the District Court arraignment intake sheet showing that is the sole charge.

Anonymous said...

9:41
But then you continue the "family member beating" speculation by making reference to an imaginary mayor being charged with assault and battery.

Larry Kelley said...

And clearly that was an "imaginary mayor."

Anonymous said...

Don't matter now, he be guilty forever...

Larry Kelley said...

That's simply not true.

And if only Anons with lousy grammar think that way, he's got nothing to be concerned about.