"IF," a photo by zen Sutherland.

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Photograph taken by zen Sutherland of Asheville.
The photo was shot recently in West Asheville and is of a flier posted inside an empty paper box. The actual creator and poster of the flier are unknown.

To find more of Sutherland’s photographs, please visit his website, Flickr stream or find him on Image Asheville.

Editor’s note

Last April, news from the Asheville Police Department of missing evidence, including hundreds of oxycodone doses, led the State Bureau of Investigation to launch an investigation and the local district attorney to temporarily halt jury trials during the audit of the evidence room. Shortly thereafter, the police chief resigned.

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Clearly someone is still curious, as this photo from reader zen Sutherland demonstrates. Clearly satirical, the flier appears to be from “Citizens for a Drug-Free Police Force” (a search for the organization was unsuccessful), and questions the location of the missing painkillers. Carolina Public Press regularly publishes photos from readers.

Prompted by the flier and Sutherland’s photograph, we asked the Asheville Police Department this week for an update on the investigation. Lt. Wallace Welch, the department’s public information officer, issued this statement to Carolina Public Press on Wednesday, July 20:

The SBI investigation is ongoing, and we cannot comment on this. Additionally, APD has hired an outside firm to conduct an audit and the results will be forwarded to the SBI. Both will report their findings to the District Attorney. APD will be notified of the findings only after all investigative measures have been exhausted.

To learn more about the investigation, read:

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Hundreds of doses of oxycode missing from Asheville police evidence room (Greensboro News-Record)
SBI seals APD evidence room, investigating missing drugs (Mountain Xpress)
Memo from District Attorney Ron Moore regarding missing evidence (PDF, via Citizen-Times)
DA blasts APD evidence room handling; Council approves $175,000 audit (Mountain Xpress)
Asheville Police Chief Hogan retires; Hogan makes announcement as SBI probes evidence room (Citizen-Times)

Photographer’s notebook

The image was taken of a flier taped to the inside of an empty newspaper dispenser sitting in front of the Gas Up (a Haywood Road gas station in West Asheville), where it remains, I presume. I always have at least one camera on me (sometimes as many as three, if you count my iPhone) and was amused by it so took the shot.

Though I consider myself an abstract photographer, there’s something about documenting the little moments in my life that I enjoy – or rather enjoy a second time when I download them. It’s like doubling up my experience, as I have a wonderful life, good work and am very lucky in love.

zen Sutherland, Asheville

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org.

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