From Issue: Volume XX - Number 24
By Jay Beeler
The statistics on domestic violence are staggering:
* Every nine seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
* Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.
* Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.
With this in mind I visited with a domestic violence victim in San Diego on October 27. I spent nine hours listening to Nonny Edward’s story. A native of Thailand, Edwards, 44, is married to Marine 1st Sgt. Michael P. Edwards, 42, and in recent months was the victim of rape, attempted rape, assault, battery, and domestic violence at the hands of her husband … and that’s just a small part of the story.
With a Military Protective Order in place Sgt. Edwards violated that order, engaged in mutual combat with his wife, then lied on court documents to get a restraining order against her. The bottom line is that Sgt. Edwards is getting away with criminal conduct. His wife and her 22-year-old son from a previous marriage have been evicted from their own home, living on the streets and are penniless.
What this situation calls for is a sympathetic female lawyer with expertise in family law and willing to work pro bono on Mrs. Edward’s behalf. Are you this person? Call me at (562) 597-8000 and I’ll put you in contact with her.
Nonny’s next opportunity to get some justice will be December 17 at the Riverside court house with Commissioner Robert Nagby presiding. He is part of the problem, along with Riverside Sheriff’s Deputy Bruce Pierson – a former Marine – who was more interested in helping his “semper fi” buddy than carrying out his sworn, lawful duty.
A civilian police sergeant at Camp Pendleton told me these cases are swept under the rug because the accused would lose their ability to carry firearms. The problem is rampant and also extends to every police department in the United States. Hence, Camp Pendleton officials have “circled the wagons.”
On the day that I interviewed Mrs. Edwards the USMC Commandant, General James Amos (based in Washington), was meeting with officials within a few hundred feet of us at the Miramar Air Base. The meeting topic: Domestic Violence in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Now I’m seeing the bigger picture as to why former Long Beach Police Chief Tony Batts was able to get written up for five domestic violence incidents and commit multiple felonies in the act of getting rid of those documents.
At one stage, before or upon becoming chief, he was unable to carry a firearm because of his DV past. Next thing you know he flies off to Oakland to become their chief and, most recently, became Baltimore’s Police Commissioner.
It also explains why the president of the LB Police Officer’s Association, Lt. Steve James, would lie to a Baltimore Sun reporter about not being present at one of Batts’ domestic violence incidents. Multiple officers that I spoke with directly contradict James’ claim about not being present and told me his patrol car partner that evening was a police corporal, David Frazier, ultimately fired for having sex with an underage explorer scout.
I recently heard a rumor that James might be elevated to a commander position at the LBPD, but Chief Jim McDonnell says that he’d have to be away from his POA position one year before that could happen. Good, the last thing we need is another cop in a leadership role that doesn’t understand the words “honesty and integrity.”
There is something terribly awry with a system that protects these gun-toting people while the victims get zero justice. Research shows that about one in four persons sworn to uphold the law and U.S. Constitution will engage in what I call the “justified lie.”
If there is anything great about all of the women getting elected to political office it is that they will undoubtedly champion legislation that puts a halt to this “cover your ass” situation.
If you appreciate receiving the Beachcomber every other Friday and would like to do something special for your carrier, this is the time of year for us to remind readers that opportunity knocks.
As you fill out those Christmas greeting cards, please consider sending one to “Beachcomber Carrier, PO Box 15679, Long Beach, CA 90815-0679.” A monetary contribution would be nice as well.
When we receive those envelopes we look at the return address to determine which carrier should get your card and off they go in a larger envelope. It’s a great tradition for saying “Merry Christmas” and we sincerely appreciate you doing so.