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.
The five Asheville City Council candidates squared off at the Council of Independent Business Owners’ forum yesterday afternoon as this year’s campaign entered its final stretch. Many of the topics discussed had been dealt with at previous forums, with some exceptions. In this case, the candidates questioned each other, and spoke frankly about their thoughts on development and NIMBYism.
Amid concerns about the fairness of the Asheville Police Department and no small amount of skepticism, about 40 community members shared their thoughts this evening on how to improve the city’s law enforcement.
At tonight’s meeting, Asheville City Council approved new rules allowing urban farming and produce sales throughout the city. Council also approved starting the search for a summer event to replace Bele Chere. On a less optimistic note, the public and city officials discussed increasing issues of crime, policing and homelessness in Asheville’s core.
At a meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 18, city of Asheville staff and police officers met with homeless activists and local nonprofit representatives to discuss a new law enforcement approach that focuses on more arrests in the city’s downtown. Responses varied, ranging from concerns about the impacts of a failing system to criticisms of the Asheville Police Department’s new strategy.
Information obtained by Xpress shows that out of 25 communications positions at the Asheville Police Department, 10 are vacant, leaving the department 40 percent short of its full number.
Mike Lanning, a former Asheville Police Department officer, filed for Asheville City Council last Friday. Lanning says recent controversies about the APD’s leadership spurred him to run, “because there needs to be someone on Council who questions city staff.”
At a special meeting today, Asheville City Council announced that an internal investigation had found no evidence that Asheville Police Department Chief William Anderson engaged in a coverup surrounding a March car crash involving his son, as alleged by an APD lieutenant. However, the inquiry also found that when Anderson ordered the officer to meet with him, he acted inappropriately. Council members promised improvements to the general management of the department.
After a season of uncertainty, Asheville City Council unanimously passed a budget tonight that includes the city’s first major property tax increase in more than a decade. Most of the increase will go to fund improved road maintenance and a wish list of projects intended to spur economic development. Photo by Max Cooper
After he was reported missing on April 29, William Howard Pack remains a missing person and the Asheville Police Department is asking the public for help. (Photo of Pack taken in 2004, courtesy of APD)
Former Asheville Police Department evidence room manager William Lee Smith has pleaded guilty to a federal charge for embezzling $10-30,000 in drugs from the evidence room, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
On March 17, a man — reportedly shouting homophobic and racist slurs — stabbed a Club Metropolis employee. The crime has sparked a community reaction, including plans for a benefit. The APD is not qualifying the incident as a hate crime, and the suspect was released March 21.
Asheville Police Department Chief William Anderson publicly apologized today for “a poor decision” in directing the APD, rather than the State Highway Patrol, to handle the initial investigation of a March 9 accident involving his son, Chad Anderson.
Claiming that they’ve “exhausted all leads to this point,” the Asheville Police Department has suspended its investigation of the alleged hacking of state Rep. Tim Moffitt’s Twitter account last year. The legislator’s account sent out an offensive message that he implied was an effort by his political opponents to discredit him.
The situation of the Asheville Police Department evidence room has improved, with a new manager and better systems, Chief William Anderson told media today. He also says he’s better informed about what led to missing evidence, and who was responsible, but refused again to reveal further details. Photo by Max Cooper.