ASHEVILLE – Facing a task “not within” his capacity as a police officer, Justin Wilson sent a somber message to the neighborhood groups with which he had worked for years.

His job with the Asheville Police Department had taken a toll on his personal life, and he decided to quit law enforcement, Wilson told the residents in an Aug. 21 email. The 10-year APD veteran said he was “blessed to exit this job with only emotional scars.”

The message was a rare glimpse into the mind of an officer, with police usually reluctant and even forbidden to speak openly