Press Release: March 2, 2018

Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 2, 2018

Two incidents have recently been in the news that perfectly illustrates why we need change in the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office.

On February 13, the District Attorney allowed a career criminal, who had repeatedly assaulted a police officer with a stun gun, to walk out of jail on a plea deal. To get the judge to accept the plea, the Chief Assistant DA misled the court stating that “officers are OK with the plea arrangement,” when in fact, the officers had not even been consulted.

Then, yesterday, we learned that over the summer, a different police officer beat and tazed a man for allegedly jaywalking late at night across a deserted street. (It’s only jaywalking if he failed to yield the right of way to a “vehicle upon the roadway.”) The officer then taunted the man for having a sweaty and bloody face and for bleeding on the officer. This incident only came to light because an anonymous whistleblower leaked the officer’s body cam video to the press. Despite having access to this video since at least last September, the District Attorney has taken no action against anyone involved in the assault.

In both of these the cases, the District Attorney failed to stand up for the victims of malicious assaults. One victim was a police officer. The other victim was an African-American man walking home after working a 13-hour shift at a restaurant.

Whether to prosecute violent crime shouldn’t be a hard decision to make, regardless of who the victim or the perpetrator are. The public should demand to know who knew what and when in each of these cases.

Who signed off on these actions, and who’s responsible for the inactions?

What other cases are out there, where the victim was not a cop, or where the body cam video has not been leaked, and the rights of the victim have been ignored or trampled?

Buncombe County deserves better. That’s why I’m running for DA. Early voting starts April 19.

I pledge to work with the police and the courts, with honesty and transparency, to achieve real justice for victims and others caught up in the criminal justice system.

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