We have been highlighting some of the most revolting stories from the worldwide protests for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other people of color killed by police violence and racism for the last several days. At the protests in Asheville, North Carolina, police officers destroyed a medical station set up for protestors that needed emergency attention, stabbing water bottles and tipping over a medic station without remorse.
Tables filled with food, water bottles, and medical supplies were damaged and left on the ground after police officers teamed up to stomp on and stab the gear provided to help protestors should they need it. The mayor has since responded to the troubling incident.
“I am aware of the incident involving officers destroying the medical supplies of demonstrators, including water bottles, food, and other supplies,” wrote Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer. “Council has asked for an explanation of why that occurred.”
The medical station was set up in an alley when the group of officers approached the team of 10 or 12 clearly-marked medics who were not provoking them.
“[The police] immediately, when they approached, they said, ‘We’re Asheville Police Department and you guys need to leave.’ They grabbed us by the shoulders and pushed [us] out of the alleyway where we were trying to provide medical support,” said Sean Miller, a student who was on the scene.
They lost approximately $700 in supplies and did not receive an explanation from the officers as to why.
Asheville Police Chief David Zack has issued a statement on the matter.
“As the Chief of Police I understand the concern has been raised over the destruction of water, food, and medical supplies,” he said. “The Asheville Police Department would always prefer confiscation over destruction. We apologize for not being able to confiscate these supplies last night. Because water bottles, in particular, have been continuously used over the last three nights, officers destroyed them. Officers also searched for potentially dangerous objects, such as explosives.”