Jon Brown, Daily Wire, September 15, 2020
A former police officer in North Carolina’s Asheville Police Department (APD) both admonished and apologized to the community he served in a heartfelt resignation letter published last week in the local newspaper.
Justin Wilson, who served as a community resource officer for 10 years with APD, explained in an Aug. 21 email sent to neighborhood groups he worked with that he was moving to Colorado to begin a new career because his law enforcement job “has taken a toll on my personal life,” the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.
His full letter reads:
I wanted to write to a few of you who I have had connections with over the past few years to let you know that I am resigning from APD. I’m headed out to Colorado to start a new career. Being a cop has been very difficult for me. It has taken a toll on my personal life. I cannot begin to explain the complexities of it to someone who has not been involved in it. I wish I could. I’m blessed to exit this job with only emotional scars.
I truly wish I could have offered you more safety and protection. My time as a CRO has been a constant balance of defending APD, and acknowledging the short falls of APD. I tried my best to be transparent and honest with you all. I’ve come to the conclusion that APD is tasked with stopping societal issues, and disorder, but it is not within our capacity. We can only put a bandaid on these issues. Strong communities are the real remedy.
I want to sincerely thank you for your patiences, understanding, and support of APD. Officers require your support to function properly (during both the good and bad times).
After ten years at APD, I can say confidently that APD officers are good people with good hearts. Evil is real. Evil exists in Asheville, officers are surrounded by it, and they do their best with what they have. Please remember that.
According to the Citizen-Times, resignations from APD have surged since June 1, with 31 officers having called it quits in what Police Chief David Zack described as an “unprecedented” trend. For a force of 238, such a number, which does not take retirements into account, equates to one in 10 sworn officers throwing in the towel.
Asheville also made headlines in July when their city council approved a resolution in favor of “community reparations” for its black citizens. As The Daily Wire reported, the resolution does not offer direct payments but will instead seek to rectify historical disparities among the city’s black community with investment-based solutions. In a July 30 vote, the city also voted to limit the APD’s budget amid calls from activists demanding an immediate 50% cut to the department’s funding.