by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
Last week, the local paper was drumming up hype over a bad report written without the authorization of the City of Asheville or the employer of the man who wrote the report. In what many call a fifth-grade report, Anthony Franklin made several allegations about racism in the Asheville Police Department that ran counter to his comments heard by police officers who attended his diversity training classes.
The Virginia Center for Policing Innovations, the consulting firm which sent Franklin to Asheville has since terminated him and is refusing to acknowledge his report. In addition to being a consultant, Franklin is also a lieutenant with the Richmond Police Department and a minister who, per some accounts not verified, focuses on racial issues.
Mayor Terry Bellamy was supposedly the moving force behind bringing Franklin to Asheville. At least a couple unnamed officers have alleged that the mayor has postponed promotions in the police department because all those inline were white. Another application and screening process will start from scratch once the city has implemented a program better designed for hiring the diverse members of the police force.
In all the insanity, two things appear obvious: (1) Somebody wants to stir up tensions between the diverse community and the police force. (2) The police chief has a bullâ€™s eye on his forehead.