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Columnist pushes ‘narrative’ over news, trashes police, FOP chief says in reply to Aug. 29 Answer Man column
Saturday, 04 September 2021 15:28

From Staff Reports

Following the publication of a column Aug. 29 by John Boyle in the Asheville City Tmes headlined “In Woodfin stun gun incident, what do you see!” the Daily Planet contacted Rondell Lance, president of the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, for his response.

Lance began by noting that “I don’t read anything that John Boyle writes —  or any opinion in the Citizen Times.”

When asked why, Lance said, “Because I feel that, in my opinion, they (the Citizen Times) push the narrative of anti-police,” instead of accurate and unslanted news.

Lance added that the Citizen Times “is really the propaganda paper for the left, with anti-police and anti-law enforcement” narratives that they seek to maintain.

Regarding Boyle’s assertions in his column that the incident involved a racial componet, Lance said, “That is totally ridiculous, He (Boyle) started with the race thing from the beginning,” Lance then asked, “How many black officers do they have in Woodfin? I don’t know if they have any. So if all they got is white guys, so who’s going to respond” to crime and distress calls?

“They (the three Woodfin police officers) were dispatched … because citizens called Woodfin and noted that this guy was passed out in his car.”

Rather than playing the race card, Lance asked, rhetorically, “How many (police) officers were killed this year, Mr. Boyle? Its all about race” for the ACT columnist. “John Boyle is a joke.”

Lance was then read the following paragraph from Boyle’s column:

“I also see a black man who clearly is not complying with police orders to exit his car and get on the ground. Some will criticize me for even bringing that up., but Barker is not following orders from clearly identifiable police officers.”

In response, Lance said, “So why would he (Boyle) criticize himself for bringing up the truth?”

Lance also was asked to respond to the following passage from Boyle’s column:

“Clearly, I see that Barker refuses to comply, and I have to think this unpopular thought: Dude, just get out of the car and do what they’re telling you to do. Problem solved.

“Yes, that’s an incredibly white male privileged thing to think, and I totally own that.”

In response, Lance said, “The ‘white male privilege thing’… That’s an idiot statement to make. The cops would have treated a white person the same, possibly worse....”

In Boyle’s consultation with what he terms “an expert opinion,” he chooses Dennis Kenney, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justic in New York City, who watched the video and said (according to Boyle):

“Now that is some terrible police procedure. No visible effort to de-escalate. Indeed, the plain clothes officer exacerbated the situation by his threatening demeanor.” (Boyle added, “That would be (detective Jason) Gregg, the officer who used the stun gun on Barker.”

“He’s a liar,” Lance said of Kenney. “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. That video could be used for de-escalation training,” given that the Woodfin police officers responded to Barker so well, in Lance’s view.

He added, “Boyle, (ACT reporter) Joel Burgess — they always go to John Jay (College), which Lance considers left-wng and staffed with professors better suited to classrooms than analyzing police work.“Why don’t they go to experts locally?” Lance asked, rhetorically.

“Whoever this guy (Kenney) is ... they (the ACT reporters) know he is going to have a far-left, anti-police statement. That guy (Barker) wasn’t hurt, he wasn’t beaten. They (the three Woodfin officers) tried everything to get him to comply. Now that was a fine example of de-escalation,” no matter what the “expert opinion” of the thoroughly leftist professors at John Jay College have to say, Lance said.

While discussing “experts” with whom the ACT likes to consult, he also brought up Dr. Chris Cooper, who, in his view, is a leftist-leaning professor at Western Carolina University, who the newspaper “always” consult with on local and state political matters. He wondered why other “experts” from other political stances, including conservative, seem to never be consulted by the newspaper.

Lance  questioned Boyle’s use of an unnamed source in his column that he used to lambast the police and play the race card. Lance said he doubted that that “source” actually existed.

And where Boyle advocates for more de-escalation training for the police following the Barker case, Lance, conversely, asserted, “I think that citizens should receive some training on how to respond when interacting with the law. It’s got not one thing to do with race. It all had to do with him not obeying the law. Barker needs the training, not the officer.”

As for Boyle leaning totally toward more trainng for the police, based on Barker getting tased, Lance said, “Of course, he (Boyle) would. You have anti-police reporters like Joel Burgess and Boyle. If he was any other way, he wouldn’t be working at the Citizen Times. They have to report the anti-police narrative at the Citizen Times. They’re not allowed to print the truth. 

“If John Boyle wrote the truth about the Woodfin police, he no longer would be working at the Citizen Times,” Lance said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Boyle’s rebuttal to Lance’s critique will be sought for the next issue of the Daily Planet.


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