The police have had free reign for long enough

It seems, once again, that the spotlight has fallen on one of North Carolina's law enforcement agencies, and once again the system is wrought with corruption. This time the Asheville Police Department evidence room has been caught unable to produce the 400 oxycodone pills supposedly seized in a prior arrest. Police Chief [Bill] Hogan has […]

DA blasts APD evidence room handling, Council approves $175,000 audit

It was a tense scene last night during the Asheville City Council meeting as District Attorney Ron Moore criticized the leadership of the Asheville Police Department for the handling of its evidence room. APD Chief Bill Hogan, meanwhile, said the problems were due to one individual who “betrayed the trust.” Council approved $175,000 to conduct a full audit.

SBI seals APD evidence room, investigat­ing missing drugs ***UPDATED 2:13 p.m. Thursday**­*

The State Bureau of Investigation has sealed, and is investigating, the Asheville Police Department property room due to 397 missing tablets of Oxycodone. The SBI claims the investigation was requested by the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office, while the APD claims the investigation began internally. Records obtained by Xpress reveal that the APD’s longtime evidence manager was placed under investigative suspension before his resignation earlier this year, though an APD official says “it’s difficult to speculate” if that’s related to the investigation.

City shifts staff in effort to advance social media, community relations

The city of Asheville is shifting staff as part of an effort to improve social media and community relations. Asheville Police Department spokesperson Melissa Williams will move into a general community relations role, including overseeing the city’s blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts, while Lt. Wally Welch will take on public information duties at the APD.

Anarchists march in protest of APD, gentrifica­tion

Chanting “cops, pigs, murderers,” and “smash the state, burn the prisons, anarchy and communism,” about 40 people gathered in Pack Square early this evening to protest police actions (including the arrest of 11 alleged vandals on May 1) and gentrification. The group marched down near the Buncombe County jail and up to Pritchard Park.

Photo by Jerry Nelson