Complaints About APD Using Excessive Force Go Unanswered

Apr 26, 2021

A group of protesters from last year’s racial justice marches is still waiting on a response from Asheville Police regarding a complaint alleging use of excessive force. 

The complaint filed by 20 individuals -- 19 of them anonymous -- alleges that Asheville police officers used unethical, even military-style tactics to disperse crowds during last year’s protests. 

“They were hit in the face by a projectile, really did some damage to a person’s face, that’s the most significant one," Attorney Ben Scales said. He filed the complaint on behalf of the alleged victims and is collaborating with the Racial Justice Coalition. He says they’re requesting body camera footage from the police. 

 

“Where we’re having trouble is APD has said anybody who is in the body cam videos can see the body cam video. The problem is how do we identify which body camera we get to see?," Scales said. 

 

Documents obtained by BPR News show the department is requesting identifying details about the individuals in the complaint. Scales says they’re still waiting for APD to respond to five of the complaints, which he says, contain the most serious allegations.

 

The Asheville Police Department declined to comment for this story.