ASHEVILLE-A civilian, seen on video pushing and pushing protesters and attempting to subdue one person at an Aug. 8 Black Lives Matter demonstration while identifying himself as a policeman, is the subject of calls for an investigation and charges against him.
Asheville Fraternal Order of Authorities President Rondell Lance, likewise a former sheriff prospect, said he was stepping in to help officers at a downtown march last weekend.
“As a former police officer, I am not going to stand by and enjoy anyone assault a policeman,” said Lance following what turned into a melee between him and protesters as police struggled to make arrests. Lance retired from APD five years back. In 2018 he ran as a Democrat for Buncombe County constable.
Lance can be seen powerfully pushing protesters away, shouting “Stay off the authorities!” in a video taken by resident journalist Matt Henson. He then pulls a protester in a bicycle helmet along the ground as an officer tries to subdue the person. Another officer steps in and presses Lance
away. Critics, consisting of two local attorneys, say Lance’s actions might amount to attack and impersonating an officer after he announced a number of times during the event that he was “cops,” as recorded on video.
A hotel engineer experienced pain in his ear after protesters used a megaphone and speaker 4 feet from his face, Byrd stated. Toned-down cops existence, then arrests In recent demonstrations APD has provided a toned-down presence, without shields or other riot equipment and not using tear gas or other so-called nonlethal projectiles.”The police officers have been informing us in person at marches in the previous
weeks that they were there to help. They just wanted to keep us safe, “said the female who went to the Aug. 8 demonstration and lots of other protests. However after leaving the hotel and walking along Woodfin, she stated cops moved in
strongly.”A female officer told me directly we needed to get on one side of the road or they were going to begin detaining. I stated,’OK, I’m going to relay the message. ‘And as individuals were transferring to one side of the street it took place. There was not enough time. “The video taken by Henson shows officers encountering the crowd and demonstrators trying to block them or get on top
of them as they move to arrest individuals. APD spokesperson Hallingse said protesters on bikes surrounded a police vehicle and when officers transferred to apprehend them, they “got on top of
officers and started assaulting them.”Charges versus 6 individuals varied from failure to distribute to attack on a government official, all misdemeanors. Hallingse said a knife and”
window breaker”lay and confiscated. Lance, who can be seen wearing a hat, black and white long-sleeved shirt and khaki trousers, had been following the march and filming it. He pressed protesters and threw them
to the side, yelling”Don’t f ** k with the cops!”He also said he was”cops. ” At times Lance and protesters stood face-to-face and yelled at each other. After the 32-minute mark in the more
than hour-long video, a knife skidded out of the crowd and stopped on the street. A
demonstrator wearing a mask went to select it up, however Lance stated,”whoa, whoa,”and motioned the individual away and putting his foot on the knife. An officer pushed Lance back and took the knife. Lance later told the Citizen Times he saw a protester with a knife in a sheath and an officer who took it and kicked it away. While taking the video Henson, can be heard saying,”He’s making it worse, “in recommendation to Lance. Later, Henson,
who is also volunteer news factor to the radio station WPVM, told the Person Times he thought Lance was”absolutely intensifying things. “Demonstrators crowded near the police cars, calling for the arrestees to be release and for Lance to be apprehended.”He attacked us!”
one can be heard shouting. Assault? Speaking to the Resident Times, Lance protected his actions, stating officers didn’t know who he was at very first and did the ideal thing by
pushing him away
. He kept returning since he saw protesters overdoing top of police, he said. He saw none try to strike officers, though he stated one officer was gotten by the neck. “I attempted not to hurt anybody. Their actions, they didn’t care, maybe they didn’t mean to injure officers, but they didn’t care,
“he stated. He said he told people he was”cops” so the officers comprehended he was trying to assist.”I still consider myself a police officer. I’m a police for life. “Bowman, the attorney, stated touching anyone without their permission can be considered attack, with an exception being when somebody is assisting an overloaded officer. “It would be totally various if one
protester took out a weapon and he disarmed them. But that wasn’t the case. He simply began doing crowd control,” he stated.