One of the most interesting things I've found about writing in a blog is that anyone can simply find their way here if they do a blog search on a topic that I've covered. When it gets thorny is when some of those topics touch on emotional issues and when people who are directly or indirectly related to the issue want to comment, sometimes anonymously.
More often than not, this has happened when I have written about people in the community that have been killed, whether in a hate crime or in an assault, in instances that are mostly under-reported elsewhere.
It happened when I wrote about Angel Melendez, it happened when I wrote about Adrian Alun Dennis Exley as well.
Though I've only just recently started moderating comments, when dissenting views pop up, I've done my best to allow the comments through although things get trickier when people start anonymously posting hearsay about a specific incident when some details have yet to be reported. The only time I removed a comment from this blog is when I found it to be patently offensive and homophobic though, in some circumstances, I've left those in as well if only to prove a point.
This is the case with the beating that left Chad Ferreira (pictured above) dead on the streets of the Castro in San Francisco back in February. His boyfriend wrote to me offline to see if I knew more about the case and his mother wrote to thank us for writing about him.
Now, even though the original confrontation and beating happened more than six months ago and the alleged assailant was actually taken into custody (Kyle Adams pleaded not guilty to the charges and says that he was acting out of self-defense), from the start the Bay Area Reporter stated the police saw this as a "problematic case." I still didn't know what to do when an anonymous posting popped up this week defending Kyle, followed within a day by another anonymous poster who said he was with Chad the night of the attack.
In today's issue of the Bay Area Reporter reporter Ed Walsh writes that, in a preliminary hearing, a San Francisco judge has found that "that there is enough evidence to try Kyle Adams with assault and voluntary manslaughter for his alleged attack on Ferreira," even though one of the witnesses called on Ferreira's behalf seems to have contradicted statements he made earlier to the police regarding the incident. So a trial is coming and hopefully some of the issues that are still pending will be resolved.