By Frank Taylor, Carolina Public Press This story is from Carolina Public Press, a nonprofit online news service focused on in-depth and investigative reporting in Western North Carolina. ASHEVILLE – Contrary to several previous news media reports, Jai Lateef “Jerry” Williams had faced charges of serious criminal activity prior to July 2 when an Asheville Police Officer shot him, […]
“The public needs a better understanding of the challenges the police face daily — and the police need to show greater empathy for the people they’re sworn to protect.”
“When it comes to a point that the Asheville police can’t protect the public without backlash, then what do you want? “
On Friday, July 22, Asheville Police Department officers arrested a group of protestors who had been demonstrating in the lobby of the police and fire station at 100 Court Plaza since the previous day. Along with the protestors, Xpress reporter Dan Hesse also was arrested.
“Although web-based Xpress content has reflected this story, the print version doesn’t even acknowledge that it happened.”
Protestors occupying the lobby of APD’s downtown station have been given an ultimatum: leave the lobby by 2 p.m. or face arrest.
Speaking on behalf of the family of Jerry Williams, who was fatally shot by an Asheville police officer on July 2, civil rights activist John Barnett of Charlotte called today for an end to the excessive force that he said often results in the deaths of black men at the hands of police.
Community members, family members of Jai Lateef Solveig Williams and supporters of Asheville Black Lives Matter gathered in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse at Pack Square Park on Tuesday, July 5 to protest Williams’ shooting death on July 2 by an Asheville Police officer.
‘There is an old proverb that goes, ‘Many hands make light work’; we can do that for our community.’
The Sheriff’s Department wants to protect officers and catch bad guys, and to do that better, they have made it impossible to listen to their radio traffic. But it hasn’t made communication with the APD any easier and some see the move as harmful to the flow of information to the public.
While the theme is familiar — what to do with city-owned property facing the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the U.S. Cellular Center? — the current proposal has a twist: let the whole community weigh in on the future of a beloved, yet contentious, space.
The Asheville Police Department trails the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office in rolling out police body cameras — but the city is trying to catch up. Police Chief Tammy Hooper outlined a draft policy for the cameras at a recent panel discussion, and says the first cameras will be deployed by summer. We look into what needs to happen between now and then to make that schedule happen.
Residents using Hominy Creek Greenway in recent weeks may have noticed the sudden disappearance of two herds of goats, which had been put to work clearing invasive species such as Japanese Knotwood. The absence of the hardy herbivores is the result of a June 28 attack on one of the animals by an unrestrained dog and raises questions about the proper use of public spaces.
Activists from the local LGBTQ community rallied Dec. 11 in Asheville at the Vance Monument to show support for “victims of police brutality.”
Amid national furor over high profile cases around the country in which unarmed black men were killed by police officers, local activists held a Dec. 7 candelight vigil against “police brutality” at the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville. Local photographer John Penley documented the gathering:
About 200 people gathered in downtown Asheville Nov. 25 in support of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man who was killed by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer earlier this year. Unlike protests in Ferguson and some other cities, the Asheville gathering at Vance Monument was peaceful as attendees held signs with phrases such as “Hold Cops Accountable” and “Where is Justice for Black America.”
In an age of instant communication and social media, Asheville Police are still stuck in the 20th century. “The Asheville Police Department does a lot of good,” said Police Chief William Anderson. “What we’re not good at is getting that information out to the public.” Anderson was speaking to the 20 attendees of the department’s first meeting […]
Hear a blast downtown this morning? After a woman left a large duffel bag at Asheville Police Department headquarters, police shut down surrounding streets and moved the package outside the building, where they “disrupted” it with a water blast. Only personal belongings were inside.
Asheville Police Department Lt. Mark Byrd, claiming the city of Asheville’s management and the APD’s leadership retaliated and discriminated against him on a number of occasions, including when his wife filed a sexual harassment suit, filed a lawsuit in federal court Jan. 21.
On Oct. 28 local artist Chris Ortega was found dead in his home. According to the Asheville Police Department, Ortega’s death “is suspicious, and we are continuing to investigate.” Contrary to some rumors this week, police have not yet ruled his death a homicide.
At around 1 p.m., an Asheville Police Department car went off the Jeff Bowen Bridge and onto Riverside Drive below. Later that afternoon, APD Chief William Anderson announced that the crash killed Senior Officer Rob Bingaman. The State Highway Patrol is investigating the wreck, and police officials said it’s still too early to know many details about the crash.