Reformer: Chief Tammy Hooper talks APD business

Chief of the Asheville Police for over one year, Tammy Hooper is asserting herself as a confident leader and setting the pace for reforming the departments protocols. Photo by Able Allen

A string of violent confrontations has thrust policing practices into the national spotlight, as departments across the country face extra scrutiny over use of force, particularly against people of color.

The debate over best approaches to law enforcement is heating up. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump offer different visions of what the country needs from its police forces. Clinton advocates strategies that aim to reduce implicit bias and end racial profiling, while Trump has called for cities to expand stop-and-frisk, a practice that at least one federal court has ruled unfairly targets minorities.

The executive branch is attempting to steer police department best practices. Across the country, many departments are implementing recommendations from President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

The debate over American law enforcement practices even extends to an international level. The United States recently accepted most of the peer-review recommendations from United Nations member states on counteracting racial discrimination, racial profiling and the use of excessive force by police officers.

Meanwhile, when it comes to policing in the small, anything-but-quiet mountain town of Asheville, the most pivotal law enforcement figure is relative newcomer Tammy Hooper, chief of the city’s Police Department.

Xpress recently sat down with Hooper for an extended interview, asking about her role as leader,  the state of the department and police-community relations. We present here excerpts of her comments. In our editing, Xpress has attempted to accurately represent Hooper’s thoughts and protect both her voice and meaning. The text has been edited substantially for brevity and is organized by topic.

On being an agent of change

“That’s what I was brought here for.

“It’s hard for me to say what happened before I was here, but since I’ve been here I feel like we’re doing a pretty good job.

“Internally, we’ve done a lot of hard work to try to situate ourselves so we can be more efficient in how we respond to things and also how we do our business inside, the checks and balances that we have to do of our own processes that have caused problems in the past. I think that how we are structured definitely had an effect in the past, so [since I arrived,] we’ve tried to be very intentional about … putting checks and balances in place so [that] we don’t have to have things falling through the cracks, and we don’t have situations where something will just linger … like the radar thing that happened, where they weren’t calibrating radars. We’ve got checks and balances now in that process, so we know for a fact that it gets done.

“For [another] example, in our property and evidence section we’ve been able to make tremendous strides in getting through our backlog of property. I know that in the year or two prior to me getting here, we were really only able to inventory about 1 percent of the property and evidence since we had the audit. We are now [due to greater efficiency and additional staff] more than 40 percent through that backlog; our goal is to be done by next July.

“One of the first things we did when I got here was reestablish how we were organized.  There were a lot of disparities in the span of control and workloads of our mid-management. … By being able to fix that and make it more efficient, we are in a better place to make sure we’re getting things done the way that we should.

“We’ve [also] revised probably 25 or more of our policies and procedures since I’ve been here. We’re going to continue to update and revise how we are doing our business to make sure that how we practice our policing is consistent with best practices and that we’re doing things in a contemporary manner.

“[In regards to best practices and modernizing], we have the body cameras now. That’s a big change. It’s a change in mindset for officers. But … officers are very happy to have cameras on the whole. So, we’ve already started working to roll out our body camera program, which I think is going to be very helpful in the long run. Now, how that comes out as far as the limitations on releasing videos, that go into effect Oct. 1 with the North Carolina law, we’ll have to see how that is. But it has been pretty effectively shown that having the body cameras does reduce complaints against officers. Maybe it affects the officer’s behavior, maybe it affects the person that they’re dealing with’s behavior or a combination of both, but the more we can reduce complaints the better, and the more trust we can build in the community. And there’s the [aspect of] transparency [that cameras can offer].

“[In regards to transparency], I think it looks largely like where we’re trying to go — which is to give as much information as we can. We spend a huge amount of time responding to information requests. We provide a huge amount of information — not just to the media, but to anyone who asks — that isn’t lawfully required [to be given].  I think we do a lot on our [use of] social media, to talk about things that are going on in the department, things going on in the community. Again, the more information we’re able to discuss the better. So, how we get that out, and how many people are looking at it, that’s what we need to figure out: how to do better.”

On policing philosophy

“Community policing — partnerships, problem-solving — those are the two elements [of our approach]. And I would say, by and large, we’ve got that dialed in. [But] we have room to grow.

“[Essentially,] I think the department’s philosophy is, as far as if you talk to [individual officers], they do have this community-minded mindset. They want to be out there doing the work that we’re doing for the good of the community.

“I think if we get to the point where we’re actually very focused on the community-policing aspects of partnership and problem-solving, that we can make huge progress. Not just in building trust and relationships, but also in actually getting down to [answering the question] ‘How do we affect people’s quality of life in neighborhoods in a positive way?’

“You can put the Band-Aid on, of the quality-of-life enforcement …, but that doesn’t solve any problems. That doesn’t solve the issue of environmental contributions. It doesn’t solve the issue of socioeconomic contributions. The general over-arching principle behind community policing is getting beyond enforcement and looking a little bit deeper into what’s going on, as well as having relationships and rapport with people so that you can have conversations to get to some of that information.  

“But I see that there could be a place for some quality-of-life enforcement that’s part of an overall community policing plan. … [There’s a] problem-solving aspect of [the broken windows policing model that] doesn’t just focus on ‘enforce the small crimes and the big crimes go away.’ It really has to do with a more holistic approach … that’s more involved than just the enforcement side of it. It’s also looking environmentally at how you get to the root cause of issues, and you correct them. So … environmentally approach it and that sometimes can help, along with not letting people get away with nuisance or quality-of-life crimes in that area. So, quality-of-life enforcement certainly is part of it.

“What’s not part of it is stop-and-frisk, which has become equated to it. That’s not part of what any police department should be doing.”

On fostering community relationships and rebuilding trust

“That’s one of the things I think I’ve found to be much more challenging than I expected here. I think it is a bit challenging for our officers in the field to [foster relationships]. We have a lot of officers who do spend a lot of time in neighborhoods. They know people in the business community, they know people who live in the communities. So, those relationships are very important, and that’s how we’re able to partner with the community to get things done. Which, if you look at community policing, that partnership is one of the prime components. I think in other neighborhoods we have a lot more of a challenge trying to develop those relationships and that type of partnership. So, I think there’s work to be done there.

TALKING AND LISTENING: With the Asheville Police Department in the spotlight recently, Chief Tammy Hooper, right, has been called upon to do extra explaining lately at city government meetings, where strong criticism of local police has been voiced during public comment periods. Many are impatient for reform; Hooper says that has been a priority for her, too, but that it takes time. Photo by Able Allen
TALKING AND LISTENING: With the Asheville Police Department in the spotlight recently, Chief Tammy Hooper, right, has been called upon to do extra explaining lately at city government meetings, where strong criticism of local police has been voiced during public comment periods. Many are impatient for reform; Hooper says that has been a priority for her, too, but that it takes time. Photo by Able Allen

“I think we have a lot of the same challenges as a lot of the police departments in the country right now, which [are]: trying to build trust in the community, particularly in communities of color. There [are also] reform efforts, and those definitely have trickled down here. The President’s 21st Century Policing Task Force report that came out in May of ’15 put a lot of recommendations out there that many police departments, including here, are putting into place. This year, in May of ’16, we got Use of Force and De-escalation [guidelines]. We’re putting those into play. Just coming here, when I started, the vision that I put out for the department definitely talks about issues of respect and dignity and procedural justice. And those reforms are happening, but they take time.

“I think those events [like Sgt. Tyler Radford using lethal force on Jerry Williams and Officer Shalin Oza’s videoed use of force on a minor] do bring out people to be more vocally in opposition to how police do their business. … I think that that’s indicative of the broader national picture that we’re talking about where we’re discussing trust in the community. Things do happen; like I said, a lot of these reforms, we’re doing them. We’re taking that stuff to heart, but it takes time to get there and things happen.

“[And when things happen that damage community relationships], it doesn’t even have to be force related, we have to do whatever work is necessary to mend those relationships and get that trust back. … We can’t do our job without the community’s support and … consent.

“I think that being accessible to people, being out, going to community meetings, talking to people, developing relationships and rapport are things that we’re working very hard to do.”

“What we have to stop doing is believing that all of [building trust and improving community quality of life] falls to the police. We get a huge amount of responsibility put on our officers out there to deal with a whole lot of situations that we don’t do a very good job of equipping them to deal with. And we try to work through that with training as much as we possibly can, but it’s a challenge. Our officers in Asheville, last year, ran [more than] 106,000 calls for service. We have [about] 120 officers out there running calls. That’s a huge workload. To ask them to not just handle those complaints and calls for service, but to then have downtime where they’re working to build relationships and have conversations and do more of a community-oriented approach or to do more proactive work like traffic enforcement and things like that, it becomes overwhelming.

On challenges to overcome

“A lot of what is portrayed in media and social media makes it look like we’re not making [reform] efforts, but we really are. [As far as building trust], I think we always have a challenge of getting out information. In a dynamic situation, sometimes things change. Something we may know right at the onset or we may think right at the onset could change when we look into it a little deeper, so we have a struggle to get information out but we want to be as accurate as we can be.

“But the biggest challenge right now … is the speed of social media and the basic ability of anybody to say or do anything regardless of whether it’s true, whether it’s accurate or what part of it they want to portray to tell a certain story. There’s just no way that we can be faster than the misinformation that goes out ahead of us. We also have limitations about how much we’re allowed to say. For example, in North Carolina we’re not allowed to talk about personnel issues. So, it may seem like we’re not being open, but we have lawful limitations about what we’re allowed to talk about. Or, like with the shooting case, we’re not handling that case, the [State Bureau of Investigation] is. We have zero control over what they will or won’t say about that.

“[When it comes to departmental morale and frustration], in a lot of ways [the Williams ordeal and the community’s response represents] a sort of no-win situation— because we still are responsible for policing our community. And people are still committing crimes. In fact, we’re about 11 percent up on violent crime compared to last year.

“I think the total number of gun-related calls last year was something like 794. That’s a couple of times a day officers [are] responding to calls involving guns. We have had a significant increase in aggravated assaults and homicides. And many are gun-related, so our officers are certainly concerned for their safety and they try to respond in a way that helps them be as safe as possible. But a lot of times, that type of response is misunderstood. We’re facing a community that doesn’t often understand why we’re doing things the way that we are …  [we need to] help them understand why we do things a certain way, and, on our own, to look at how we do it and is it the best way. So we have to balance those things. Internally, we do have to look at all of our practices, our training, [and  whether we are] doing things the best way that we can.”

On departmental strengths

OUT AND ABOUT: Police Chief Tammy Hooper says she has strived to be available to the public to hear their needs and desires. She has gone to every Coffee with a Cop event, as well as numerous other community events and forums. Photo by Virginia Daffron
OUT AND ABOUT: Police Chief Tammy Hooper says she has strived to be available to the public to hear their needs and desires. She has gone to every Coffee with a Cop event, as well as numerous other community events and forums. Photo by Virginia Daffron

“[To help officers deal with all this,] we do look at our training and our policies, [in such a way that] when we have to change a policy we need to make sure that our officers understand what those changes are, and that they’re trained to do [an operation] tactically differently than we were doing it before. As far as if we have officers who are upset or frustrated in a certain incident, we certainly have support built in for that. We have peer support; we have different kinds of support for officers if they’re involved in a critical incident.

“We also try to make sure that officers understand that we appreciate the good work that they do. I can’t tell you how many letters I get on a weekly basis, commending officers. … In fact I had a call today [from] a lady who was observing officers handling a domestic violence situation and [she] was just talking about how compassionate they were and how well they handled the situation. We make sure officers know when citizens compliment how they do their job.

“I’m not surprised by what I’ve found here in the department. I expected that we would have good staff. … They’ve certainly exceeded my expectations in their professionalism and their dedication to this community and the work that we do here. I think the detectives here are some of the best I’ve ever seen: [They] will work day, night, you have to tell them to go home half the time.

“One of the things that impresses me both with our patrol officers and with our detectives is how many people they really do know in the community.  They see a picture and they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s this guy or that person.’

“ I think our officers’ ability to manage their calls for service is very good … because they are able to do a lot of other activities in addition to handling calls: They do traffic enforcement … foot patrolling … community meetings. So they try to have a balance in what we call ‘discretionary time.’”

Personal challenges

“I can tell you that all of the staff have been very cooperative, [and] I think they have a general will for us to keep moving forward in a positive direction [and] keep our department where it really needs to be. For me, I guess if I have one criticism of it, it’s [that] things don’t happen always as fast as I’d like them to. But, that’s not unusual in any kind of government situation.

“This year, it’s just been about trying to figure out the community, trying to figure out who’s who in the community, who’s operating out there that represent other people that I can talk to and develop relationship and rapport with. So, I’ve been doing a lot of work to try to get out with as many people in the community as I can, [because] I think one of my primary challenges is that I need people to trust me if they’re going to trust us.”



Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Able Allen
Able studied political science and history at Warren Wilson College. He enjoys travel, dance, games, theater, blacksmithing and the great outdoors. Follow me @AbleLAllen

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

37 thoughts on “Reformer: Chief Tammy Hooper talks APD business

  1. Negrodamus

    This is just the typical “focus on the symptom rather than the problem” approach in which money is spent and nothing is accomplished except the problem being made worse. Reform needs to happen at the federal level with its draconian drug laws, civil forfeiture abuse, and militarization of the police.

    Also, black culture needs to address its cultural training that causes black men when confronted by the police to put their hands in their pocket or waistband when told to put their hands up, stay in the car when told to get out of the car, run away when told to get on the ground, among other things. That in itself would go a long way towards reducing the number of unfortunate incidents in which someone gets hurt or killed.

    • bsummers

      But the Blue Wall of Silence stays, right? You can’t blame the “unfortunate incidents” only on black men without acknowledging that sometimes an officer will simply shoot them, regardless of how they’re behaving. And then whether it was panic, poor decisions, or deliberate murder, their fellow officers will close ranks and support their stories. The black community has known this for generations – we are only now being dragged into the light because of the proliferation of video devices.

      Until we see some brave officers step out from behind the Blue Wall & say, “Yes, unfortunately, my partner shot that unarmed man without justification”, there’s no chance “black men” will ever trust the police.

      • The Real World

        Shaking my head — how, specifically, can it be inferred that it is primarily black men who get shot by police? Where is the data to back that up? I haven’t seen it; only that the TV portrays every time a black person is shot by police.

        Have you ever questioned that?

        The reality is that significantly more white people are shot each year by police than people of color. Whites are a larger percentage of the population, certainly, but do you ask yourself WHY the TV doesn’t portray any of those? And when you asked yourself that….. what was your conclusion?

        • Able Allen

          The Washington post had an outstanding database project last year which gave data case by case.
          It is true that more white people are killed by police than other races, but it is also true that, if you compare numbers to total population, a higher proportion of those killed by police are people of color. The other important thing to remember while we talk about race statistics is that although correlation is established with race and police killings, causation is not established. As with any complicated topic, there are a lot of factors to consider.

          • The Real World

            Thank you Able and bsummers – I will look at both of those links and respond later.

            But, neither of you answered my question. I would appreciate hearing from you both whether you ever considered WHY you aren’t seeing portrayals of white police shootings on TV? And if you have considered that prominent omission — what was your conclusion about WHY it is?

          • bsummers

            I’m sorry, but “why aren’t we seeing more about white people being shot by police” is just another alt-right canard to distract from the real issue. Of course we see these shootings on the news.

            The reason you hear more about unarmed black shooting victims is the disparity: five times more likely than whites to be shot by police. And that figure assumes that the ‘armed’ shooting victims really were armed, or how many were they like that case in court in St. Louis, where the officer is charged with simply running up and executing the man in his car, and then planting a gun on him?

        • bsummers

          Fully expecting you to twist this into meaning the exact opposite of what it says, but here goes:

          “U.S. police officers have shot and killed the exact same number of unarmed white people as they have unarmed black people: 50 each. But because the white population is approximately five times larger than the black population, that means unarmed black Americans were five times as likely as unarmed white Americans to be shot and killed by a police officer.

          That’s as of July 2016. Anyway, I was just responding to Anonymous Sockpuppet ‘A’s admonition to ‘black men’. So go after him for leaving whites out.

        • Able Allen

          I could only speculate on why there is not more TV coverage of police shooting white people, so I won’t. I am not part of the television media community. I am a journalist though so I can tell you my take on coverage of police use of force. Any time there is reason to take a closer look at police use of force (where it is not pretty clear what happened), it should be covered. Reasons might include: the suspect fired upon may have been unarmed, they may have had a history of mental trouble or some other disability or a number of other things. And media doesn’t automatically know which cases these are, it often requires community response to alert us. Unfortunately with the troubled history between police and people of color across this nation, just the fact the the person killed was black or Hispanic often warrants a closer look. There is not a general troubled relationship between whites and police. There may have once been problems between police and German, Italian and Irish-Americans, but there isn’t much evidence of that these days.
          Until the public is convinced that systemic racism and implicit bias are not potential factors in police use of force, it is the role of media to look at it. Of course that is not to say that the media is doing this responsibly in every case, and it is possible that we are missing important cases in which white people were wrongly (or at least suspiciously) killed by police. Media isn’t perfect. Journalists aren’t perfect. I’m not perfect. But we are trying to highlight what case after case seems to be revealing: there is a trust gap between police and communities of color and incidents where people of color wind up dead after an incident with police aren’t helping matters nor are incidents where cops are shot or attacked (also news worthy).

          • The Real World

            Able – odd, I posted a reply twice but it’s in the internet vapors, or something. Will try again, perhaps, breaking it into 2 posts. But, ultimately, it might show up multiple times.

          • The Real World

            Able quote “correlation is established with race and police killings, causation is not established. As with any complicated topic, there are a lot of factors to consider.” — That is totally correct and those important details can provide the vital info to help understand this issue. The ever-important WHY of something.

            Able quote – “possible that we are missing important cases in which white people were wrongly (or at least suspiciously) killed by police.” — I would certainly say so. And add Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans to that. They matter. How does a rationale person not say, “wow, the coverage is very uneven, what’s up with that?”

            There are some critical data points that many media outlets decide not to include in their coverage that explain much. Examples: (copy/paste from link below) 2009 statistics from the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveal that blacks were charged with 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults in the 75 biggest counties in the country, despite only comprising roughly 15 percent of the population in these counties.

            “Such a concentration of criminal violence in minority communities means that officers will be disproportionately confronting armed and often resisting suspects in those communities, raising officers’ own risk of using lethal force,” writes MacDonald.

          • The Real World

            “Further, blacks commit 75 percent of all shootings, 70 percent of all robberies, and 66 percent of all violent crime in New York City, even though they consist of 23 percent of the city’s population.” (end paste)

            Let me offer a different example of this. The WaPo link you provided indicated that, in 2015, police shot & killed 949 men and 42 women. Yet women are approx half the US population. So, how could it be that so few were killed by police? Well, they aren’t committing crime at the nearly the same rate as men. Plus I’ll guess that they comply better when they are confronted. So the causation is missing from that sex.

            Given all of this, my view is that BMacAVL’s second (shorter) comment is closer to the reality of what is going on than what the overall media is portraying. And looking at who provides funding for some of the non-profit organizations leading the charge on this issue is also indicative of an intentional agenda.

            NOTE: it may have been the link? I took it out to see if this part would go thru.

          • The Real World

            Able – I have no idea what is going on with your website. I tried to repost the link to the article I was referencing with only text… dots or hyperlinking of any kind…and it still bounced!

            It’s a common website, no profanity in the text…..I don’t get it.

    • luther blissett

      “that causes black men when confronted by the police to put their hands in their pocket or waistband when told to put their hands up”

      The Tulsa cop who killed Terence Crutcher thought it was suspicious that he put his hands up before any cop told him to put his hands up. So, should black men put their hands up when a cop’s around and be deemed suspicious for doing so, or should they keep them down and be shot for not putting their hands up?

  2. boatrocker

    Until the systematic abuse of power on the part of national police unions has the light of day and justice shone upon it, expect more of the same.
    Feel good rhetoric is just that.

    Yes, the Blue Wall of Silence is what is eroding the public’s scant trust in police- people of all color/background.

    Why, imagine what would happen if others in a position of public or national trust like the Catholic church or the military did that? Oops, maybe not good examples.

    How about on a private level like auto companies that design cars with flaws that kill people, private subcontracted security companies that have veritable private militias in war zones where American soldiers fight, and the firearms industry who clam up every time a child is gunned down? Oops, maybe not a good example either.

    Ah ha! Teachers! They’re behind everything wrong children do- imagine if they had representation such that they could do whatever they wanted without any consequence (which they obviously cannot)- then what would America say?

    But yes, reform police unions and dispel completely the idea that a good cop is still a good cop if they see a bad cop do something wrong and say nothing.
    Both would be considered bad cops, according to far right post-Patriot Act mentality.
    “If you see something, say something. If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide.”.

  3. BMacAVL

    @Negrodamus “focus on the symptom rather than the problem” is exactly correct here….you lost me when you brought up “black culture”…why is in not just “human culture”? I understand we hear more about a black males being shot by police daily through mainstream media but that is the same media is doing an AMAZING job to keep “HUMAN CULTURE” from agreeing we are all being screwed by the powers at be in the current United States political regime.

    “So, I’ve been doing a lot of work to try to get out with as many people in the community as I can, [because] I think one of my primary challenges is that I need people to trust me if they’re going to trust us.” -Chief Tammy Hooper

    Why not focus energies on training officers tactics to be the SOLUTION not just another part of the PROBLEM? Our military has steps to go through before using weapons…why do the POLICE not?How about training them to run through a series of necessary attempts before even thinking about using violence themselves?

    Why not chat with “people in the community” about reforming current policy to help save tax payers money and stop wasteful spending?!?! Do we need police out during the day setting up road blocks/license checks? Is that a safety issue or a revenue generator?

    Do you need to give tickets to homeless and folks down on luck to keep wasting time within the courts/jail and our tax dollars? Who are they hurting by asking for loose change other than some POS stuck-up tourist who probably stiffed an above average server at a great restaurant for excellent SERVICE because they had a visible tattoo or didn’t feel the food had VALUE because it was actually prepared by someone with culinary chops over a microwaved dish from the a corporate chain that mass produces garbage that continues to feed our obesity epidemic….

    Is it absolutely necessary for Police Officers to keep cars on while in restaurants eating lunch or in the mall shopping? This bugs the absolute crap out of me and I see it countless times while out getting lunch! Last week I was at the Mall and I walked by a Police car still running and was very tempted to ask the officer coming out of Barnes & Nobel if they enjoying wasting tax dollars but decided against using my better judgement! They were a “FEW” LBS over weight but who wants sweat stains on a dark uniform anyway?

    Why not focus on saving “people in the community” taxes and redirect over to struggling facets of our society here in Asheville; education, mental heath, family services, low-income housing?!?! Do we still lock people up for non-violent crime committed in our city rather than placing them in rehabilitation programs or give them the ability to preform community service to WORK off the crime rather than waste our dollars in Jail?

    Sounds to me like another “fluff piece” from a career bureaucrat with a very POOR attempt to distract from the Police State we are under in the good ol’ U S of A! Oh that’s right “I think one of my primary challenges is that I need people to trust me if they’re going to trust us.” This is news?!?

    Give me a freaking break and another craft brew please!!!!!

    • Negrodamus

      “you lost me when you brought up “black culture”…why is in not just “human culture”?”

      The black culture thing was probably an unnecessary addendum, but it’s something that I’ve been wanting to say. Black culture, to a large degree, defines itself by copping an attitude towards THE MAN (punny, no?), If you cooperate with cops, you are an Uncle Tom and a house n****r. The repercussions to this kind of dynamic are predictable.

      • boatrocker

        BMacAVL, that is.
        Craft brew to me still sounds a bit pretentious- I call them real (not Budweiser) beers but I’ll let that one slide off my righteous anger radar.

  4. BMacAVL

    @The Real World – The iron grip on Media by our Government(FCC) is why we only see images on TV that fit the “KEEP CITIZENS FIGHTING WITH EACH OTHER” agenda…this helps from drawing any attention to the complete manipulation by our greedy/wasteful bureaucracy driving us deeper and deeper into this POOPstorm and continuing to perpetuate truth in the world thinking of us only as those “DUMB AMERICANS”….

    if all the racist idiots in this country started understanding that race does not divide us but our Media agenda does it would be a small step in the way to government reform. The problem is you can’t force sheep to stop following a Sheppard that is perceived and taught to all youth as GOOD & TRUSTWORTHY when in fact that is the exact opposite of reality…SAD:(

    • The Real World

      BMacAVL – I believe you are on the right track. There is much evidence, and has been for years, that divide and conquer is the name of the game for Deep State (the media are just one of their many, compliant tools).

      Unfortunately, the strategy works far too well. However, many people have woken up to it. So there’s that and it’s what gives me some hope.

  5. bsummers

    OK, to recap: unarmed blacks don’t really get shot more often by police – that’s the lib’ral media lyin’ to us. If unarmed blacks do get shot by police more often – that’s because they did something to deserve it, or at least, provoke it. And if an unarmed black person does get shot under suspicious circumstances that are too obvious to ignore, and there isn’t a comparable story about a white person getting shot by police, we can disregard it. And if people are too ignorant to recognize that they shouldn’t be protesting in the street over the latest shooting of an unarmed black person, we can claim without evidence that most of them are outside agitators bussed in from out of state by George Soros.

    As the French say, voilah! Nothing to see here.

    • boatrocker

      I think that about sums it up.

      Hey America, do you still like that Patriot Act now?

    • Negrodamus

      “…the latest shooting of an unarmed black person…”

      That wouldn’t be Charlotte, would it? If so, you better recheck the facts. Funny how the whole thing went off the media radar and the protests had the air let out of them once the facts started rolling in.

    • The Real World

      bsummers – you are an offensive and very disrespectful guy. And after more than 2 years of reading your posts it’s completely clear that you are just looking for people to fight. You need some sort “bad guy” to slay so, you often create them where they don’t even exist. It’s madness. Otherwise, I just don’t understand how you get thru the day with the conclusions that you draw. Double madness.

      And boatrocker is just a consummate time-waster with rarely any value provided. Over and over you both evidence that you could care less about what is true and are purely looking to serve your biases. Which is utterly SELF-serving and doesn’t solve problems. Wheel-spinning does not help find solutions.

      • bsummers

        You need some sort “bad guy” to slay so, you often create them where they don’t even exist.

        OR I keep a lookout for people who consistently post lies, distortions, distractions, and other means of short-circuiting genuine dialog. The fact that I sometimes call you on your behavior, and it makes you mad… well, I can live with that.

        • Able Allen

          Let’s keep discussion to the issues here please, y’all. There is no need for getting personal.

          • boatrocker

            Ever notice that certain mods revert to some sort of faux Southern dialect instead of weeding out sock puppets like the job description entails?

          • Able Allen

            “Y’all” is such a useful word. Often when I am addressing more than one person I find it appropriate. I briefly abandoned it in grade-school, trying to sound smart, but I have since come to my senses and I celebrate the word for the vernacular gem it is. I will probably use it till the day I die.

            Now please, let’s stay on topic.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.