I am writing to express my dismay over the actions of the Asheville police on recent nights in downtown Asheville. It seems that the police destroying the first aid and water supplies was an unnecessary act of provocation. I read Police Chief David Zack’s statement, and I understand what a difficult situation this is, and I am certainly not in favor of police getting injured, but I think more restraint should have been shown on their part and with their continued use of tear gas and rubber bullets on subsequent nights.
The perception of police overreaction is as important as what the actual actions were and why these actions were taken. Further, as these actions by police could only have been carried out with approval from the highest levels of command, I urge our city and county leadership to reconsider how we want our law enforcement agencies to be perceived in these particularly turbulent times.
I attended the rally in Pack Square with my teenage children in the late afternoon of June 2, 3:30-5:30 p.m. We heard first aid team members discussing plans for how aid and supplies would be distributed and were impressed at their insistence on nonviolent responses on the part of people participating in the public protests.
I will tell you I was appalled by the graffiti I saw on the Asheville Art Museum and other buildings surrounding Pack Square, and I certainly do not support that sort of destructive behavior on the part of the protesters who engaged in those actions. For my part, I was impressed by the level of calm and respectful behavior shown by those who were present at the protest during the period of time I was in attendance with my children.
As a 17-year resident of Buncombe County, I am dismayed that we are not sending a progressive message to our citizens and those who visit our diverse community.
— Alan Lipsky