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Manheimer demands, gets apology from new police chief after razing of aid station
Monday, 15 June 2020 16:22

From Staff Reports

Asheville Police Chief David Zack issued an apology on June 4, following what the Asheville Citizen Times described in a story as “pointed criticism from community leaders and, most notably, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer.

“It was a dramatic departure from an earlier statement apologizing for, yet still defending, the destruction of a medic zone set up for protesters in downtown Asheville,” the ACT noted.

The tent reportedly was set up at the entrance of a Patton Avenue alley after the owner of the only operational business nearby gave approval to an all-volunteer team of doctors, certified nurses, EMTs, military combat medics and  citizens with CPR and first-aid certifications.

Sean Miller, head of communications for the medical team, told the ACT the group had a verbal agreement with APD to be present, even after curfew.

However, about 8:15 p.m. June 2, officers from the Asheville Police Department “dismantled the medical treatment area, handling the people within roughly, Miller said, and stabbing and stomping on water bottles before leaving the wreckage behind,” the ACT noted.

“Nearly 48 hours later, Zack issued a more forceful apology, just hours after Mayor Esther Manheimer publicly denounced the incident as yet another reason for citizens to be distrustful of officials.

“It was wrong, it was senseless, and it only serves to reinforce those feelings of mistrust, hurt and anger,” 

The ACT reported, “In the nearly 4-minute video, Zack appears solemn and contrite.”

In the video, Zack says, “I am speaking to you today to address a matter that has deeply affected our community, embarrassed our city and our department,” Zack said. “Of course I am referring to the destruction of a medic tent during protests on Tuesday, June 2. For these actions, I am truly sorry.

“Some may find this message to be too little, too late, and that’s fair,” he said. “Yesterday’s statement was inadequate in addressing your concerns and I’m sorry for that as well.”



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