From: Charlene Paterson
Subject: OCCUPY ASHEVILLE INFO
Date: 2011-10-16 19:18:46
Charlene Kuspa, Telecommunicator
From: Sgt. Jonathan Brown
Sent: Sun 10/16/2011 4:33 AM
To: Critical Incident Reports
Subject: Central A Team Nights
On Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at approximately 1750, Officer’s responded to a
protest at Pack Square of a hundred or more subjects from the “Occupy
Asheville” group. Initially, officers engaged protesters that were
blocking the street and lying in the street as a form of protest. Det.
Tomassetti attempted to seize two of the protesters and both were taken
from his grasp by members of their group. Det. Tomassetti regrouped and
maintained visual contact and the two were later cited when additional
officers were able to respond. It was unclear if there was a main
organizer of the group but based off of Facebook post, there was an
agenda set for Saturday and the protest was scheduled for 1700 at Pack
Square, according to the site.
The protest lasted for about an hour and officers gave several warning
to not block the street and to stay on the sidewalk, most complied.
After a large Hummer H2 passed by, one young lady that was displaying a
sign in opposition to gasoline consumption ran into oncoming traffic
and began to aggressively protest in the rolled up passenger window of
the H2 as it was slowing to avoid striking her. She was taken into
custody and charged accordingly. Many folks commented and thanked the
officers for their professionalism and ironically, even some of the
protestors thanked us for the professional job.
Forensics Tech L. Frasier located on the patio of the property room
entrance, several chalk markings that are apparently from the “Occupy
Asheville” group. This was located within a couple of hours after the
protest ended at Pack Square. Pictures and a report was submitted.
At around 0130, a group of around fifteen people attempted to set up
camp in the Pack Square Park with sleeping bags and tents. After Sgt.
Brown and Lt. Young listened to their appeal, they were advised that all
city parks close at 2200 and that they would not be allowed to set up
camp. Furthermore, it was also explained that the City of Asheville has
extended to them a place for them to sleep and that this was not part of
the agreement that the city had made. They were advised that they would
be in violation of G.S. 14-159.13 (2nd Deg. Trespass) and would be
arrested if they did not leave the property. Although unsatisfied, they
left without further incident.
Other members of the group had set up a sleeping area on the sidewalk in
front of the Federal Building on the Patton Avenue side. Approximately
six or so subjects were asleep in sleeping bags but did not allow for
the free passage of pedestrian travel. As indicated in one of the photos
(PSP #4) there was approximately 18-20 inches of free space between one
of the subjects sleeping bags and a tree. They were asked to reconfigure
their sleeping arrangements and this caused a response from other
members of the group as it was seen that they were communicating via
handheld radios. Written documentation of the city ordinance was
provided (C.O. 11-16, 11-17) to the group for clarification and
understanding of the laws concerning free passage, loitering and
sleeping on city sidewalks.
Through the course of our encounters with the “Occupy Asheville” group,
officers have been outstanding. They have shown restraint when it was
needed and acted when clear violations have occurred. As this group has
become progressively antagonistic toward officers, they have stayed
steady, calm and remained focused on their duty to protect and enforce
the laws of our city and state. Good job to all and special thanks to
Adam and Baker District for their help in sending additional manpower.
Sgt. Jonathan Brown
South/Central District Supervisor