Letter: APD should be allowed to use tear gas

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding,“APD Announces Policy Changes in Wake of 2020 Protests,” Oct. 6, Xpress:] Absolutely the Asheville Police Department should be allowed gas, if necessary, for crowd control! Sometimes those involved give you no other option when they become so unruly. We don’t want any of our officers getting injured.

Even though I currently live in Hendersonville, I have lived in Asheville and may again. Officers from any and all departments put their lives on the line every day; we need to provide them with the tools they need to best provide a peaceful outcome.

— Candy Champagne


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 Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

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.

8 thoughts on “Letter: APD should be allowed to use tear gas

  1. MV

    Everyone should be allowed to use tear gas when peaceful measures fail–especially to fight off violent threats, domestic terrorists, and even greedy developers who want to wipe out our forests and pollute the French Broad River.

  2. luther blissett

    “Even though I currently live in Hendersonville–”

    Oh, well, okay. I guess in Hendersonville all you’d need for crowd control is to fire off a bunch of Werther’s Originals and that would scatter all of the senior citizens. But I doubt the good people of Hendersonville would appreciate Asheville residents opining on what HPD should do. If you don’t pay their salaries, they’re not your officers.

    “Officers from any and all departments put their lives on the line every day”

    The last APD officer to die on duty drove his cruiser off the Bowen Bridge in 2013 while doing 70 in a 50 — not in a pursuit — while not wearing a seatbelt. No other officer has died on duty since 1972. AFD Captain Bowen lost his life fighting a four-alarm fire, which is why the bridge honors his name and memory.

    • Mike R.

      I think Hendersonville is close enough to Asheville (geographically, economically) that the comments should be considered relevant. Are you saying Mountain Express is only read by Ashevillians?

      Your argument that policing isn’t dangerous is weak. Perhaps Asheville’s fatalities are low/nil in recent years. A lot could account for that such as: lazy police officers, low violent crime rate, luck. Look at the regional, state and national numbers and the writer is correct on this point. Just recently, I believe a Hendersonville deputy was ambushed and shot to death during a break in call by a terrified citizen in the middle of the night. If you don’t call that dangerous, well……

      From the tone of your response, it sounds like you have a major axe to grind with policing or maybe just with the Asheville Police. Sarcastic comments and poor justification for a different position/opinion doesn’t help the discourse.

      Finally, the ability to use tear gas by the police is essential because not only does it protect the police against worse (gunfire), it also protects the public/protestors against same. The ability to disperse an unruly crowd without using guns is critical. From my viewpoint, this just seems like common sense.

      • luther blissett

        I’m saying that “we don’t want any of our officers getting injured” presumes a “we” and an “our” which, in this context, is specific to a municipality where the letter-writer doesn’t live and a police department the letter-writer does not pay for. I’m saying that different cities are different.

        I’m saying that to “look at the regional, state and national numbers” is to admit that the local numbers don’t fit your narrative. It’s a very blatant dodge.

        I’m saying that sanctimoniously regurgitating warrior-cop myths and clichés that aren’t relevant to the reality of policing in Asheville casts a smokescreen (or, if you like, a cloud of tear gas) over conversations that should take place among residents of Asheville about a municipal service they pay for and the residents of Hendersonville do not.

      • Lesko Brandon

        Common sense? You’re talking to leftists here, you need to talk about FEELINGS!

        • Lou

          Oh Lesko…still not enough privilege for you dear? It’s all you get…we’re all on to you good fellas.

    • Lou

      Facts, thank you. Though I doubt the salivating righties will hear or believe you.

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.