Fire Police Chief Hooper!
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Chief Tammy Hooper's tenure at the head of the Asheville Police Deptartment has been marked by racism, deceit, incompetence and a contempt for the civil rights of Ashevillians. In support of the will of the public, basic justice and the calls of civil rights groups like Black Lives Matter and SURJ, we demand acting City manager Cathy Ball (call her at 828-259-5604) remove Chief Hooper from office immediately. Here is a list, by no means comprehensive, of Hooper's wrongdoings in office:
• Hooper has repeatedly defended police violence towards black Ashevillians, including Sgt. Tyler Radford, who shot and killed Jerry Williams under disputed circumstances,Officer Shalin Oza who brandished an AR-15 at a group of unarmed teenagers and who threw a young girl to the ground, and Officer Zach Raymond who shoved a mentally-disabled man to the pavement. All of the victims listed above were black.
• Hooper buried the brutal attack by APD Officer Chris Hickman on Johnnie Rush, an innocent black man walking home from work, for nearly five months, violating her department's own rules that she must call in outside investigators for any case involving the serious injury of a civilian. Hooper did this despite Hickman admitting that "I beat the shit out of his head." Her actions, including hiding the issue from Council and the city manager, kept the incident from the public during last year's city elections.
• Hooper has refused to fire the other officers involved in enabling Hickman's brutality, including Sgt. Lisa Taube, who repeatedly taunted Rush, mocked his injuries and ignored his right to file a complaint.
• Has presided over the worst racial profiling rates of black motorists of any major city in North Carolina, a worsening trend that experts say "came from the top" i.e. Hooper herself. In the past year, searches skyrocketed, with the APD searching 99 more black drivers for every one white driver.
• Following a heavy-handed crackdown on protesters, Hooper's APD surveilled peaceful civil rights groups after they exercised their right to protest police brutality, in an effort to retaliate against and intimidate them. She also lied about the existence of this surveillance for over two years.
• Hooper has invoked false racist stereotypes about black Ashevillians to justify overpolicing their neighborhoods, violating their rights and blocking reforms proposed by the NAACP.
• Hooper has focused on tracking down whistleblowers rather than racist violence within her own department.
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