It's worth adding some more clarification on this part. The Racial Justice Coalition is an alliance of local groups (the NAACP, ACLU, YWCA, Mountain People's Assembly and more) that the Public Safety Committee had designated to work with the APD to overhaul its use of force policy. But on Aug. 16 the RJC issued the following statement:
The Public Safety Committee of the City of Asheville recently charged the Racial Justice Coalition (RJC) and the Asheville Police Department (APD) to work together on use of force policies.
We want to recognize the Chief’s willingness to work on use of force policies and appreciate her recent participation in a two-day Racial Equity Institute Training.
While members of the RJC have met with the Chief and agreed on including a number of community groups, and the use of an outside facilitator from the VERA Institute of Justice; we did not come to an agreement on all of the groups represented or the process involved.
Because we think it is important to continue to include community voices in the use of force policy review process, some of our members will continue to contribute as the process moves forward. However, we want to be transparent with the community that we were not in agreement with the final composition of the working group, and that this process is now being directed by APD rather than as a partnership with the Racial Justice Coalition.
We are hopeful that revised use of force policies will improve police training, de-escalation practices, and ultimately serve to stop the future use of excessive force against citizens.
The RJC maintains our commitment to racial equity and to advocate for the rights of people of color in collaboration with the city and the entire community.