AFP: Aston Park Defendants Face Extrajudicial Punishment, Expert Sees Potential for First Amendment Challenge

From the Asheville Free Press:

“Between January and March 2022, Asheville Police Department (APD) charged fifteen individuals with “felony littering” in connection with a protest at Aston Park in late December 2021. The demonstration was against the City’s policy of evicting homeless encampments.

In March, twelve of the Aston Park Defendants were also issued a “Restricted Access Notice” by APD, banning them from all Parks and Recreation facilities for three years. According to administrative policy, APD can issue these letters at the time of citation for “any offense punishable as a felony.”

The defendants appealed and were granted hearings adjudicated by two APD officers, City legal staff, and the Parks Department director. As this is an administrative process—not a criminal procedure—the defendants are not entitled to see the evidence against them.”

Read the full article on AFP’s website.