After Trayvon Martin
Asheville Police Department Police Chief William Anderson and Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan spoke Thursday night at a community awareness forum called "After Trayvon Martin." The city's top law enforcement leaders spoke to about two hundred people at St. James AME Church downtown.
Each gave advice on how to best handle an interaction with an officer. Anderson said if stopped by an officer people always need to "show respect, cooperate, and be honest." While the forum was meant to focus on dialogue to move forward from the controversial Florida case, Anderson took the opportunity to publicly give his opinion on the jury's non-guilty verdict for George Zimmerman.
"It was a clear cut case of a police wanna-be, overstepping his authority, and an innocent young man is dead," said Anderson.
Sheriff Van Duncan, did not give his opinion on the Zimmerman verdict but said he knew the incident could have happened anywhere.
"It could happen (here) sure," said Sheriff Duncan. He gave basic advice on anyone working as a community watch volunteer.
"Do not follow this person," said Sheriff Duncan. Be eyes and ears for the police, he said, but being a vigilante is a big mistake and can potentially escalate to a dangerous situation.
Civil rights attorney, Frank Goldsmith, also was also part of the panel. The most interesting fact raised by Sheriff Duncan was that approximately 4,000 people in Buncombe County have concealed weapon permits.
By Kimberly King
Follow Kim on Twitter @KimKingReports