Letter: Add closed-circuit TV to prevent gun violence

Graphic by Lori Deaton

After my last letter on a rise in gun violence was published by Mountain Xpress when a 12-year-old was shot and killed here in Asheville [“Where Is the Outrage for Derrick?” Aug. 8, 2018], I had an email exchange with Councilman Vijay Kapoor about setting up a special task force on gun violence. Mountain Xpress had sent my letter to the mayor and other Council people, but Kapoor was the only one who replied, and Mountain Xpress published his reply with my letter.

Recently, a pregnant woman, who had been a witness in a murder trial of a man accused of shooting another pregnant woman and testified against the shooter, was assassinated in my neighborhood, and it now looks like the Asheville Police Department has set up the task force. This should have been done a long time ago.

In my exchange with Councilman Kapoor, I also suggested that the city consider installing closed-circuit TV video-monitoring cameras (this is now common in many cities and results in a decrease in gun crimes and a rise in arrests for serious crimes) in areas with a history of serious gun violence. I realize that this is an intrusion on citizens’ privacy, but I believe that citizens would prefer giving up privacy to being shot.

If one had been placed in the area where a woman was just assassinated in West Asheville, I think she quite possibly would not have been shot and murdered. At the very least, the new task force would have a better idea about who did it.

— John Penley


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4 thoughts on “Letter: Add closed-circuit TV to prevent gun violence

  1. Robin

    The City of Asheville can’t even keep the streetlights working in PVA. What makes you think they can operate a complex camera system with any degree of reliability?

  2. Enlightened Enigma

    the City of AVL should DEMAND this of Gene Bell, the city’s BIGGEST ENEMY who runs public housing…they have yacked about cameras for years but always seem to skate on getting it accomplished, because HACA does not want to spend their funds on such things…Housing Authority of Asheville is the most heinous thing in our city. Gene Bell should be ashamed to show his face in Asheville.

  3. M. Meadows

    I suggest a community watch program. It’s free, provides local engagement, and again it is free. Maybe if the local residents got involved with policing themselves….things might change. When the rally cry is “Snitches get Stitches” best of luck. Step up and own YOUR neighborhood.

    • Enlightened Enigma

      Do you know how ridiculous that is in Asheville’s public housing communities? Gene Bell, (just retired) gloated in the fact that he never had to be accountable to the citizens of Asheville. He would never inspire the residents to pull themselves out of poverty nor clean up their trash…never any words of residential encouragement and NEVER any police assistance with cameras nor accomplice security forces in their biggest communities. Now Gene Bell retires after getting the new ghetto approved at lee walker hts. Gene Bell is personally responsible for untold violent criminal activity emanating from public housing since he was made plantation grand master. We will see how the new ‘leader’, David Nash will IMPROVE the situation. Why won’t they post the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners contact information on their website ? haca.org

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