A group of seventeen, primarily made up of law enforcement officials and city of Asheville staff, is in the process of evaluating nine finalists for the Asheville Police Department’s next chief. Here’s who they are.
Xpress has obtained 270 emails from city of Asheville staff concerning Occupy Asheville. The emails reveal law enforcement considering their approach to (and surveillance of) the protests as well as city staff and Occupy representatives debating freedom of assembly, among other things. These emails are available to the public in a searchable database.
photo by Bill Rhodes
Earlier this month, the Asheville Police Department arrested Helen Roberts for passing out fliers as part of Occupy Asheville, claiming it violated a city ordinance. The charges against Roberts have since been dropped, and City Attorney Bob Oast tells Xpress that the ordinance she was arrested under only deals with commercial activity — not handing out political fliers in public spaces.
The Asheville Police Department has released images of the light-colored Ford pick-up that struck and killed Mell Ailes, 57, yesterday, Nov. 23 on Broadway Street. The APD is seeking the public’s assistance in locating the perpetrator.
Under a city ordinance banning advertisement “by the distribution of samples or printed matter within the city,” the Asheville Police Department arrested Helen Roberts,an Occupy Asheville participant for distributing fliers at a Nov. 2 rally. Roberts says the fliers she distributed were pie charts endorsing the protest’s positions, and that she was not soliciting donations.
The city of Asheville has placed Lynn Fraser, a forensic technician employed by the Asheville Police Department, and Melissa Williams, the city’s social media specialist, on “non disciplinary paid investigative suspension.” On Facebook, Fraser called Occupy Asheville protesters emerged yesterday, and Williams added a “LMAO” (“laughing my ass off”) comment.
Asheville Police Department Interim Chief Wade Wood has released a statement saying that his department takes Facebook comments made by Lynn Fraser, a forensic technician employed by the APD, “very seriously.” Fraser called Occupy Asheville protesters “dirtasses” and said they needed “a hug … around the neck… with a rope.” Melissa Williams, the city’s public information and social media specialist, who commented on Fraser’s status, has offered her apologies.
In a Facebook post, Lynn Fraser a forensic technician with the Asheville Police Department, called Occupy Asheville protesters “dirtasses” after they complained about police officers recording a march yesterday. In comments on the post, Melissa Williams, the city’s public information and social media specialist, responds with “LMAO” or “Laughing My Ass Off.” In previous post, Fraser also designated Occupiers as a group that “just need a hug … around the neck… with a rope.”
The Asheville Police Department has arrested four Occupy Asheville participants today, Nov. 5, for alleged actions on Nov. 2. The charges are resisting public officers, impeding traffic, unlawful assembly and, in the case of one protester, wearing a mask in public. In a statement, Occupy Asheville claims condemns the arrests and claims one of those charged was home sick on the day in question.
After Asheville City Council refused Occupy Asheville’s request for indefinite camping in a public park on Oct. 25, eight protesters remained in Pack Square Park after curfew and were arrested. Four of those demonstrators tell Xpress about what they did, and why they did it.
Four Occupy Asheville demonstrators, part of a “corporate clean-up crew” were arrested for trespassing this afternoon after picking up litter and wiping windows at the Merrill-Lynch building in downtown.
An Asheville Police Department spokesperson tells Xpress that the department has had no troubles or conflicts with Occupy Asheville demonstrators so far, and has made no arrests.
The Asheville Police Department is looking for a suspect involved in the robbery of a First Citizens Bank on Tunnel Road earlier this afternoon.
The city of Asheville will hold a series of community input sessions Sept. 8 and 9, seeking input on the hiring of a new chief for the Asheville Police Department. The office is filled by interim Chief Wade Wood, since Chief Bill Hogan retied in May, amidst controversy about missing evidence and the settlement of a harassment lawsuit involving a (still-employed) APD officer.
The Asheville Police Department is looking for Destiny Lynn Reifschneider, last seen in South Asheville Thursday, Aug. 25.
Yesterday, a short video made the rounds of an Asheville Police Department SWAT team firing into an apartment and advancing. Now the APD has released details of the standoff with Erich Shakir, who police claim barricaded himself inside a North Asheville apartment filled with “a large arsenal of knives, compound bows, dart guns, and battle axes” after fleeing a domestic violence charge. According to the APD’s statement, Shakir was subdued using non-lethal methods, including tear gas and a bean-bag round.
July 28: The Asheville Police Department released details late last night, including suspect descriptions, for six recent home invasions, four of them in the West Asheville area, some of which may be related. Public speculation and concerns about home invasions in the area have increased in recent days.
The Asheville Police Department has announced a second arrest in the July 14 assault on Luke Hankins. A group of people surrounded Hankins, shouting homophobic slurs before one, later identified by police as Lamon Hopkins, punched him in the face. The APD has arrested Hopkins, and today announced the arrest of a juvenile on assault charges.
The Asheville Police Department has arrested Lamon Lewis Hopkins, 25, and charged him in the July 14 assault on Luke Hankins. The APD has qualified the attack as a hate crime, with a group of people shouted homophobic slurs at Hankins before Hopkins punched him in the face hard enough to cause three fractures.
Early July 14, a group of teenagers, shouting homophobic slurs, surrounded Luke Hankins in the parking lot of the Patton Avenue Ingles; one hit him hard enough to cause three fractures. The Asheville Police Department is looking for the suspects. While the APD has reported the attack as a hate crime, attacks based on sexual orientation aren’t covered under North Carolina’s hate crimes law, so no additional penalties are possible.
Local musician Juan Holladay says handing out a flier ended up getting him choked, restrained and arrested by Asheville Police Department officers. The APD claims he was belligerently interfering with an investigation. The APD’s internal affairs division is looking into the allegations.