Mark Wahlberg wants a pardon - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Mark Wahlberg wants a pardon

At the 2000 MTV Movie Awards, Mark Wahlberg suggested that the “Best Villain” award should have been given to Charlton Heston.

“I believe Charlton Heston is America’s best villain because he loves guns so much.  Maybe he should get the award for being president of the National Rifle Association,”  Wahlberg said.

Speaking with the Herald Sun in 2006, Wahlberg said: “Certainly, I haven’t used a gun anywhere other than on a movie set and I’d like to see if we could take them all away.  It would be a beautiful thing.”

Certainly Wahlberg was free to speak his mind and name call whoever he wants.  Calling Heston a villain was his right.  But in reality who was really a villain, Heston or Wahlberg?

Mark Wahlberg in the film, “The Departed.”

Mark Wahlberg in the film, “The Departed.”

And I was glad to hear Wahlberg say he hasn’t used a gun anywhere other than on a movie set.  He could have said nothing different.

Mark Wahlberg cannot be within arm’s reach of a firearm.

Wahlberg is a convicted felon for a violent hate crime.

Under federal law and the laws of most states including California, a convicted felon cannot be in possession of any firearm.

So when Wahlberg said he hasn’t used a firearm anywhere other than a movie set, hopefully he was referring to movie prop replicas and weapons that have been modified so not to allow live ammunition to fire.  At least if the movies are made in the United States.

In his younger days Wahlberg was nothing short of a thug, a racist and a bully.

He has spoken publicly about his criminal past, usually in generalizations without explaining all the facts and acknowledging his pattern of bigoted language and racist violence as a teenager in 1980’s Boston.

I guess Wahlberg believes it would be more palatable to the public without explaining all the lurid details of his racist violent attacks on Asians and blacks.

Boston was a city that was under court-ordered school integration during the years of the civil rights movement.  Violence during those times against blacks was well documented as whites wanted blacks out of their neighborhoods.

On November 26, 2014 Mark Wahlberg submitted a Pardon Petition to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

He states in the petition: “Having been convicted of the crimes of criminal contempt (violation of a prior civil injunction), assault and battery, assault and battery by a dangerous weapon (two counts), and possession of a Class D controlled substance, all such offenses arising out of a single episode that occurred on the evening of April 8, 1988, prior to my 17th birthday, for which I was sentenced on October 13 and October 14, 1988 in the Suffolk Superior Court and Dorchester District Court.

I am seeking a pardon for the convictions that relate to my actions on the night of April 8, 1988 in Dorchester. I was 16 years old at the time of my actions, though I was prosecuted and convicted in adult court.

The essential facts of my convictions are as follows: At around 9 p.m., I attempted to steal two cases of alcohol from a man who was standing outside of a convenience store at 998 Dorchester Avenue, which was not far from my family’s home. I hit the man on the head with a wooden stick that I was carrying. I then ran down the block in order to avoid law enforcement. While attempting to avoid the police, I punched a man in the face. I was detained by police a few minutes after that. When I was detained, the police discovered that I had a small amount of marijuana in my back pocket. During the incident, I was under the influence of alcohol and narcotics. From later accounts of the incident, it is my understanding that I may have caused serious injuries to both men.

Although I was a juvenile when I committed the offenses described above, I was ultimately tried and convicted as an adult.

I was initially charged as a juvenile in Dorchester District Court on April 11, 1988. The charges were assault and battery, assault and battery by a dangerous weapon, and possession of a Class D controlled substance. I was appointed an attorney named Francis Quinn. On August 10, 1988, I entered a plea of not guilty. That same day, the trial court judge entered a verdict of guilty based on a finding that I had admitted facts sufficient to sustain the charges against me. Although I had the right to appeal the trials judge’s verdict and be tried by a jury, I did not do so. The trial judge sentenced me to 2 years’ imprisonment at the Plymouth House of Corrections, with 3 months to be served and the balance suspended. I believe that I ultimately was released from prison after 45 days served.

Separately, I was prosecuted in Suffolk Superior Court on two counts of criminal contempt. This prosecution started immediately in adult court, rather than being processed through juvenile court. The charges were based on the fact that I violated a civil injunction that I agreed to have entered against me when I was 15 years old. The trial judge found me guilty of these two criminal contempt counts, and I received a sentence that ran completely concurrent with the sentence I received in Dorchester District Court.”

After reading Mark Wahlberg’s Pardon Petition, it is clear that he left out some substantial facts. He has no mention of any racist remarks that he made in 1988 about Asians during the assault and battery that he committed on both of the men, both of whom were Asian.

Although he mentions the two criminal contempt charges stemming from two incidents in 1986 he fails to mention the attacks on black children and use of racial slurs, which were the cause for a violation of a Civil Rights injunction.

Nor does he mention that the reason he violated the injunction in 1988 was because he once again committed racially motivated attacks, on the two Asian men in 1988.

Wahlberg also was charged in another assault stemming from an incident in 1992, explained later in this article.

Wahlberg does state thoroughly I might add, how he has changed his life for the better and even obtained his high school diploma in 2013, and all the causes he has supported over the years, which is admirable.

What is not in his Pardon Petition is any real remorse about those who were the victims of his bullying, racial remarks and assaults.

Victims of those kinds of attacks are sometimes left with emotional scars that last a lifetime.

Mark Wahlberg in a Calvin Klein ad.

Mark Wahlberg in a Calvin Klein ad.

Has Wahlberg ever reached out to any of his victims in all the years since he committed those criminal acts? He also believed for years that he left one of the Asian men he assaulted blind in one eye and did he even apologize to that man? Where’s the record of apology? He never paid restitution to the victims’ of his crimes, a claim that was echoed by his home town newspaper, The Boston Globe.

Wahlberg does elaborate in the Petition that his past convictions still legally impact him to this day. He states, “my prior record can potentially be the basis to deny me a concessionaire’s license in California and elsewhere. If I were to receive a pardon, however, I generally could not be denied a concessionaire’s license on the basis of my prior record, an important consideration given my personal involvement in various restaurant ventures.”

To the contrary, Wahlberg’s felony conviction does not appear to have hindered his chain of restaurants or his cable television show, Wahlburger’s on the Arts and Entertainment Network. It also has not impacted his relationship over the years with Hollywood as his film career has not suffered from his felony conviction for a racist violent crime.

Wahlberg stated in his Pardon Petition that his past actions have sometimes been misreported in the press and on the Internet. After reading his watered-down version of events Wahlberg should practice what he preaches.

What’s fair is fair, so to alleviate any misrepresentation let’s take a look at what exactly is in some of the court records from 1986 and 1988.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Suffolk Superior Court, Civil Action No. 85097.  Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Plaintiff v. Michael G., Derek F., and Mark Wahlberg.  First Amended Complaint:

This is an action for injunctive relief to protect all persons in the peaceable exercise of their rights to travel safely on the public streets of Dorchester, to have access to places of public accommodation in Dorchester, and to attend school in Dorchester free of harassment and intimidation on the basis of their race, color or national origin.  The Attorney General seeks to enjoin the defendants from interfering with these rights by threat, intimidation and coercion, pursuant to the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act.  

On June 15, 1986 in the late afternoon, Jesse C. a twelve year old black male, and his older brother and older sister were walking from Savin Hill Beach to their home in Dorchester. As they were walking, defendants Michael G., Derek F., Mark Wahlberg and another white male began to follow them on bicycles. One of the defendants said to the victims, “We don’t like black niggers in the area so get the f*ck away from the area.” The group of white males then chased the victims using their mopeds. 

Mark Wahlberg in “Two Guns”

Mark Wahlberg in “Two Guns”

During the chase, the group of white males yelled, “Kill the nigger, kill the nigger” and each threw a rock at the victims. The chase continued until the victims reached the Burger King on Dorchester Avenue, where the group of white males then turned away.

The next day, on Monday June 16, 1986, Jesse C. and his teacher, Mrs. D., who is white, and Jesse’s classmates from Mather School in Dorchester all traveled to Savin Hill Beach for a field trip. While they were at the beach, Jesse C. saw the three defendants who had chased him the previous day.

As Mrs. D. and her students were returning to Mather School from Savin Hill Beach, the defendants G., Wahlberg and F. followed them along Playstead, Savin Hill Avenue, Sydney and Bay Streets, yelling racial epithets. At Maryland Street, the above named defendants summoned other white males who joined with them. Then at the corner of Bay and Maryland Streets, the group of white males began throwing rocks. Defendant Michael G. threw a rock which hit Kristin A., a black female. Defendants F. and Wahlberg also threw rocks, one of which hit Emily H., a white female.

Mrs. D. summoned a passing ambulance for assistance. The ambulance chased the defendants away from Mrs. D. and her students.

Defendants’ actions on June 15 and 16, 1986 have contributed to a high level of anxiety, fear and intimidation on the part of Jesse C., Kristin A., Emily H., Mary D. and others. Because of defendant’s activities, they fear the defendants, alone or in concert with each other or others, will harm their persons as they attend school, walk on the streets and enjoy the public beaches. The students and teacher remain fearful of returning to Savin Hill Beach or using the surrounding streets.

Defendants Michael G., Derek F., and Mark Wahlberg have interfered with the rights secured to Jesse C., Kristin A., Emily H., Mary D. and others by Part 1, Article 1 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Public Accommodations Law and the Federal Civil Rights Act.   

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Suffolk Superior Court Department of the Trial Court, Criminal No. 070183.  Commonwealth v. Mark R. Wahlberg.  Commonwealth’s Sentencing Memorandum.

The Commonwealth submits this memorandum in support of its recommendation that the Defendant be sentenced to two years at the Deer Island House of Corrections, ninety days committed, with the balance suspended for two years. 

Statement of Facts. Background and Prior Order: In August, 1986, the Attorney General filed a Civil Action against Mark Wahlberg and two other youths arising out of a series of racial assaults against a group of black school children and their teacher. These initial incidents took place in Dorchester in June, 1986. The Attorney General sought permanent injunctive relief pursuant to the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act.

On September 4, 1986, Justice Haskell Freedman allowed a Motion for Entry of Final Judgement by Consent as to the defendant Mark Wahlberg. The Final Judgment prohibits Mark Wahlberg and all others acting in concert or participation with him from directly or indirectly: assaulting, threatening, intimidating or harassing or attempting to assault, threaten, intimidate or harass, or causing or attempting to cause injury or damage to the person or property of any person because of that person’s race, color, or national origin or the race, color or national origin of any person with them. The Consent, incorporated into the Final Judgment, is signed by Mark Wahlberg and his mother and guardian.

At trial, the Commonwealth would have proven the following additional facts beyond a reasonable doubt:

Count I: At approximately 9:00 p.m. on April 8, 1988 Thanh Lam, a Vietnamese adult male who resides in Dorchester, traveled by car to 998 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, Massachusetts.  At 998 Dorchester Avenue, Thanh Lam left his car carrying two cases of beer. As he crossed the sidewalk, Mark Wahlberg attacked Thanh Lam. Wahlberg was carrying a large wooden stick, approximately five feet long and two to three inches in diameter. Wahlberg approached Thanh Lam calling him a “Vietnam f*cking s*hit”, then hit him over the head with the stick. Thanh Lam was knocked to the ground unconscious. The stick broke in two and was later recovered from the scene. Thanh Lam was treated overnight at Boston City Hospital.

After police arrested Wahlberg later on the night of April 8, 1988, Wahlberg was informed of his rights and returned to the scene of 998 Dorchester Avenue. In the presence of police officers, he stated: “You don’t have to let him identify me, I’ll tell you now that’s the mother-f*cker whose head I split open”, or words to that effect.

Count II: As a police officer arrived at the scene of 998 Dorchester Avenue, Wahlberg and two other youths who were with him filed up Dorchester Avenue toward Pearl Street. 

Shortly after 9:00 p.m. on April 8, 1988, Hoa Trinh, an adult Vietnamese male who resides in Dorchester, was standing several blocks away from 998 Dorchester Avenue, near the corner of Dorchester Avenue and Pearl Street.  Hoa Trinh was not aware of the altercation outside of 998 Dorchester Avenue. 

Wahlberg ran up to Hoa Trinh, put his arm around Hoa Trinh’s shoulder, and said:  “Police coming, police coming, let me hide.”  After a police cruiser passed, Wahlberg punched Trinh in the eye, causing him to fall to the ground.

Police arrived and Hoa Trinh identified Wahlberg as the person who punched him. Wahlberg was placed under arrest and read his rights. Thereafter he made numerous unsolicited racial statements about “gooks” and “slant-eyed gooks”. After being returned to 998 Dorchester Avenue, Wahlberg identified Thanh Lam as the person he hit over the head with a stick. 

The defendant has plead guilty to two counts of criminal contempt. Each count carries a maximum penalty of ten years in a house of corrections or ten thousand dollars or both.

Although the Defendant Wahlberg was a juvenile on April 8, 1988, he became seventeen just two months later on June 5, 1988. This court has jurisdiction over a juvenile prosecuted for violation of a Massachusetts Civil Rights Act injunction.

One would think that if you were attempting to receive a pardon for your crimes, one might have been just a little more forthcoming about all the events that occurred in 1986 and 1988.

Omitting some rather disturbing racial comments and the exact circumstances why the crime happened, racial bias, might show that you were honest and sincere.

In this case Wahlberg seems more concerned with his private life and business interests as a basis for his pardon.

His victims be damned.

In 1992  Wahlberg was again in trouble with the law.  This time he was known as rapper Marky Mark and his thug instincts surfaced again.  Nothing like learning your lesson from past experience.

The following is a Complaint and Jury Claim from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Suffolk Superior Court Department of the Trail Court, No. 92-6734-G.

Robert D. Crehan vs. Mark Wahlberg, a.k.a. Marky Mark and Derek McCall, Defendants.

On or about August 30, 1992, at the Savin Hill tennis courts, Savin Hill Avenue and Grampton Way, Dorchester, County of Suffolk, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the defendant, Mark Wahlberg, a.k.a. Marky Mark, without provocation or cause, viciously and repeatedly kicked the plaintiff, Robert D. Crehan, in the face and jaw.

At the time of the attack by the defendant, Mark Wahlberg, a.k.a. Marky Mark, the defendant Derek McCall, was holding the plaintiff, Robert Crehan, down on the ground.  Up to and including the time of the attack by the defendant, Mark Wahlberg, a.k.a. Marky Mark, the plaintiff, Robert Crehan, had done nothing to provoke or warrant the attack by the defendant Mark Wahlberg, a.k.a. Marky Mark.

As a result of this beating and kicking, the plaintiff, Robert D. Crehan, suffered severe personal injuries, including but not limited to a fractured jaw which had to be wired shut. 

This is an action by the plaintiff, Robert D. Crehan, against the defendant, Mark Wahlberg, a.k.a. Marky Mark, for assault and battery.  This is an action by the plaintiff, Robert D. Crehan, against the defendant, Derek McCall, for assault and battery.

Mark Wahlberg in “The Fighter”

Mark Wahlberg in “The Fighter”

I guess nobody told Wahlberg that kicking someone while they are on the ground and being held down by your friend, is the action of a coward and not of a man.

The difference between this incident and the incidents in 1986 and 1988 was that then street thug Wahlberg became rapper Marky Mark.  Now Wahlberg had fame and with that came money.

So how did Wahlberg handle it this time?

Well to avoid criminal charges for assault and battery, he reached an undisclosed settlement with the victim, Robert Crehan, just a few days before the criminal trial was scheduled to begin.

Wahlberg joined the ranks of other celebrities including Bill Cosby, Sylvester Stallone and Michael Jackson, who too, paid off their accusers and thus avoided any possible criminal charges arising from the allegations claimed by their accusers.

Keeping in true form as with other celebrities, Wahlberg had to blame the accuser also, as he said when asked about his case.  He replied “People will do anything for money,” The New York Times reported in November 1992.

Statements such as that are becoming a very thin veil with the public, who sees right through comments like that.  What they see is another celebrity getting away with something because they had money to pay someone off.

And what about the Asian man who Mark Wahlberg hit in the face in 1988.  He showed that he was a much bigger man than Wahlberg ever was.  He forgave Mark Wahlberg for what he did to him.

Wahlberg has never reached out and said to any of the victims of his violent racial attacks; I am sorry and forgive me for what I did to all of you.

Johnny Trinh, spoke to Britain’s DailyMail in December 2014.  Trinh said reports alleging that Wahlberg had poked his eye out in the altercation were false, because it was an old injury sustained while fighting U.S. forces in the Vietnam War.

Trinh stated, “I was not blinded by Mark Wahlberg.  He did hurt me, but my left eye was already gone. He was not responsible for that.”  Trinh added, “He was young and reckless but I forgive him now.  Everyone deserves another chance.  I would like to see him get a pardon.  He should not have the crime hanging over him any longer.” “He paid for his crime when he went to prison.  I am not saying that it did not hurt when he punched me in the face, but it was a long time ago.  He has grown up now.  I am sure he has his own family and is a responsible man.”

Similar feelings were expressed by Mary Belmonte, the white teacher who brought her students to the neighborhood beach back in 1986.  Belmonte told the Associated Press in January 2015, “I believe in forgiveness.”  “He was just a young kid – a punk – in the mean streets of Boston.  He didn’t do it specifically because he was a bad kid.  He was just a follower doing what the other kids were doing.”

But not everybody sees it that way.

Wahlberg’s appeal has angered members of the Asian-American human rights group, 18 Million Rising. They launched a petition online appealing to Massachusetts state officials to deny Wahlberg’s request. More than  8,000 people have signed the petition.

Kristin Atwood, one of the black children who was the victim of the rock throwing and racial slurs by Wahlberg and his white friends back in 1986, also has a different point of view. Atwood told the Associated Press in January 2015, “I don’t really care who he is. It doesn’t make him any exception. If you’re a racist, you’re always going to be a racist. And for him to want to erase it I just think it’s wrong.”

Former assistant attorney general Judith Beals, who pursued the case against Wahlberg two years before his assault conviction wrote in the Boston globe in January 2015:

“Sometimes, wiping the slate clean is not the right thing to do … I prosecuted Wahlberg for his actions 26 years ago when I was assistant attorney general. Now, as a private citizen, I can see no reason why that history should be erased from the public record through a pardon … Although Wahlberg was not criminally charged for his actions in 1986. Instead, we secured a civil rights injunction — a court order — that essentially amounted to a stern warning: if you do this again, you will go to prison…”

“In the 13 years I served in the attorney general’s office, I recall only one instance of a defendant violating a civil rights injunction — Mark Wahlberg … I’m glad Mark Wahlberg has turned his life around … But a public pardon is an extraordinary public act … On this, I am not sold … Wahlberg’s status as a ‘role model to troubled youth’ would not be helped by a public pardon, as he claims. In fact, a formal public pardon would highlight all too clearly that if you are white and a movie star, a different standard applies. Is that really what Wahlberg wants?”

In 1992 Wahlberg wrote his memoir, Marky Mark.  In the first line of that book, Wahlberg wrote: “I wanna dedicate this book to my dick.”

What he should have wrote was; I would like to take this opportunity to publicly tell all those who were the victim of my racially motivated attacks that I am truly sorry for the pain and anguish you have suffered because of my actions.  As a man, a public apology is not enough, so I am going to have someone track down every one of you, no matter where you are, so I can meet with you privately and say I am sorry for hurting you, both physically and emotionally?

How about a public service announcement for television where Wahlberg would come clean and speak out against bullying and racism based on what he did when he was younger?

That might have a bigger impact on troubled youth, rather than a pardon for racist violent attacks than happened not once, but twice.

Until at least those two are done,  Wahlberg’s Pardon Petition should go where it actually belongs for now — in the trash can.

 

 


About the author

Doug Poppa

Doug Poppa is a United States Army Military Police Veteran, former law enforcement officer, criminal investigator and private sector security and investigations management professional with 35 years of real-world investigative experience. He has 19 years experience in a hotel and casino environment, 14 of which were in security management positions. In 1986 he was awarded Criminal Investigator of the Year by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. Contact the author.
COMMENT POLICY
  • Cindy Coker

    I’m not defending Mark Wahlberg at all but how do you know he hasn’t apologized privately to these people? Just because he didn’t publish an apology in the LA Post Examiner doesn’t mean mean he hadn’t apologized. After all his crimes were against them not the whole world.

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