I was surprised like most to read about the events of May 1, [the downtown-Asheville vandalism]. I was interested in finding out more about the motives and who was arrested. For what it's worth, I read everything I could find. I even watched a video of [Asheville] Police Chief Hogan himself at a press conference.
I'm not writing to discuss tactics or speculate motives — that's been done enough. What I would like to discuss is the press conference in which Hogan threatened the accused, stating he would assist in getting the students expelled from college, as if they were already proven guilty. He also goes onto mention that nine of those swept up have towns other then Asheville on their I.D.'s. I personally don't know one person who is actually from here, let alone WNC.
Chief Hogan has spun this into a grand conspiracy, calling the accused part of a "May Day movement." In reality, these people were picked up in various parts of downtown on a Saturday night. No proof has been presented, only a video of unidentifiable masked people at the Grove Arcade. Nothing suggests the accused did anything but wear dark clothing in downtown on the wrong night.
I'm troubled by Hogan's overly zealous accusations and threatening the accused with expulsion from their colleges without even presenting the public or media with proper evidence. These kids must receive a fair trial. These individuals should not be treated as criminals until reasonable proof is presented. Hogan's conspiracy is only as grand as the evidence he can lay forth, and I have yet to see any on the accused.
— Antony Wilson