There has been a lot of media covering black men being shot by police in other cities under circumstances that were obviously unjust. That is incredibly disheartening. There is no way to deny that there has been terrible treatment of African-Americans in the past, and that racism is sadly still perpetuated today, especially in the media. … The Native Americans are the ones who got the worst in the beginning. The Irish and Italians also experienced a lot of discrimination in the past. Mexicans are highly discriminated against as well. Why can’t we move past all of this? Simply because it is being taught. That’s why.
When it comes to a point that the Asheville police can’t protect the public without backlash, then what do you want? How would you feel if people were shooting AR-15 semi-automatic rifles in front of your house or at you? Is that OK? Is it OK at that point for the police to get involved and possibly use lethal force to protect everyone else? No? You think it’s better to not do anything and see what happens? Let them shoot assault rifles wherever and whenever they want? How many people have to get shot?
It’s not a black or white thing. It’s the reality of the situation. All the people protesting and trying to get the cop fired for serving and protecting I am sure are not privy to the reality of the situation. It’s real. And dangerous. They should try moving to the projects for a year (yes, it is very different than the rest of Asheville) or being a cop for a year. Then you can form your opinion. This particular situation was warranted.
Sadly though, there are many situations in other places that were not. It’s a touchy subject, yet skin color didn’t have anything to do with this. Rethink your battles, uninformed protesters. The APD is doing a great job and puts their lives on the line for us every day. Would you call them if that same man shot at you or in front of your house? Would you call the police to protect you? Would you still protest? Travel to the cities where there really is a problem with the cops overreacting.
I think that Tasers should be used rather than guns when possible. I don’t know what the answer is, I just know that it’s not safe with people shooting off assault rifles, and I want our community protected from that. And that protesters don’t seem to understand the seriousness [of the situation]. I also don’t believe that man should have died necessarily. It’s a sad situation for all parties.
— Asheville resident
Editor’s note: Xpress does not usually withhold the names of letter writers. In this case, we made an exception in the interest of furthering community discussion of this important issue and because the letter writer made a convincing case that publishing the writer’s name would compromise that person’s safety.