Asheville Sees 31% Surge in Violent Crime | Eastern North Carolina Now | City leaders remain mostly ambivalent to the rising crime in one of the most popular US tourist destinations

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Brittany Raymer.

    In the beautiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina has seen a staggering 31% surge in violent crime recently. Some of these acts include homicides, robberies, drug activity and more, all while the city council seems more interested in following progressive policies than addressing criminal activity.

    The home of the historic and stunning Biltmore Estate, Asheville's gorgeous scenery is hiding a growing seedy underbelly. Crime is on the rise, and this state of affairs has left the city vulnerable. In the wake of a left-leaning and soft on crime District Attorney and City Council, in addition to the pressure from the Black Lives Matters movement, the police department is struggling to address the violence.

    "Personally, I think the agenda of the Left: for law enforcement not to be able to do anything that's effective and makes the community safer," former Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan said.

    This is reflected in the city's homicide rate, which stands at 11 so far in 2022. It will likely exceed what occurred in 2021 and 2020. In addition to the violence, there's also an increase in Mexican drug cartel activity and an influx in fentanyl on the street.

    Antifa is a growing threat in western North Carolina, which reportedly has a safe haven at Asheville's Firestorm Bookstore and sympathizers within the city council itself.

    In an interview with The Asheville Daily Planet, former Asheville liberal political activist, writer, pundit and former City Council member Cecile Bothwell stated that the bookstore may have some books titled "How to Kill a Policeman," but argues that generally books should not be banned.

    "I think what you're seeing in Asheville right now is a culmination of the last several years of pulling police back and not letting them do their jobs like they're able to do," Duncan said.

    Homelessness has also increased 21% since 2021. This problem has led to more criminal activity within the mountain city.

    ABC13 news is reporting that women Asheville's Montford neighborhood have been complaining of a homeless man stalking them as they walk. He has been arrested, though released from jail.

    The community organization supporting the man has essentially defended him in the face of complaints from women within the community. Christian Chambers, a counselor at Homeward Bound's AHOPE Day Center,stated, "I've never seen him cause any issues, just a really great guy."

    The women and young teenagers in the historic Montford neighborhood would disagree.

    This increase in crime is a reflection of a District Attorney, like Democrat Todd Williams, who seems to follow the same philosophy as other liberal and progressive DAs around the country. Routinely, these public prosecutors believe that criminals just need more mental health assistance, so it's better to avoid prosecuting crimes or just downgrade felonies to misdemeanors.

    Not only is this discouraging to the police department but results in a marked increase in criminal activity throughout the community.

    North Carolina is not immune from the disastrous policies of progressive cities. Even in a mountain city like Asheville, which remains one of the top tourist destinations in the country, violence can quickly become an issue when crime is no longer prosecuted.
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