“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.”
How much more evidence do we need to prove that when you hinder the police and have Democrats in charge, you will have problems?
Chicago. New York City. Los Angeles.
But now we’re seeing Democratic ideas affecting other cities that wouldn’t come to mind when we think about crime.
Asheville, North Carolina, is a city of only 90,000 residents. It’s in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s picturesque.
But officials in Asheville told Fox News Digital that the city had seen a 31% rise in crime. They blame the Democrats and activists:
Asheville, a city of approximately 90,000 people nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Buncombe County, North Carolina, has seen a 31% surge in violent crime per 100,000 people from 2016 to 2020, according to statistics released in the spring. Asheville’s growth in violent crime is nearly double that of the national average and ranks among the highest in North Carolina, where violent crime has increased 13% statewide.
Asheville has so far seen 11 homicides in 2022, setting it on pace to surpass the homicide rate of 2021 and 2020. Rates of homelessness have increased 21% since 2021, according to data released in May. There is also evidence of increased Mexican drug cartel activity in the area, according to multiple law enforcement sources who spoke to Fox News Digital.
Former Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan said: “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.”
It seems the problems between the police and the politicians started right after May 2020. Gee, what happened in May 2020?
2020 statistics put Asheville in the top 10% of the most violent cities in America.
It’s only gotten worse.
Duncan is no longer a Democrat due to the rise of anti-police attitudes in the Democratic party. He does not belong to any party.
Duncan also confirmed left-wing activists who did not live in Asheville would cause a ruckus at a local meeting:
He told Fox News Digital that police who do wrong must be held accountable, but also said officers both locally and around the country have become hesitant to do their jobs “because they can be right, but it can be the wrong set of facts, and they can still wind up in trouble.”
Duncan further noted that when he was serving as county sheriff, “left-wing activists” from outside the community would sweep in to disrupt community meetings. “They would really try to get into it with the police, and a lot of times, they would try to shout down things,” he said. “And the first people who quit coming to those meetings were the people within the community. They really didn’t get to speak, and they really didn’t get anything done.”
“Personally, I think that is the agenda of the Left: for law enforcement not to be able to do anything that’s effective and makes the community safer,” he added.
On July 3, the Asheville Police Department posted an email it supposedly received from ANTIFA, threatening the police on July 4.
Threats like the above email and constant attacks from the left have pushed people to leave the department.
The department had to bring in an outside firm to help with hiring. From The Asheville Citizen-Times in March 2022:
“We are still losing faster than we are hiring,” [Police Captain Brandon] Moore said. “You don’t have to be really great at math (to know) we can’t keep up if we’re losing them like that.”
For that reason Moore, captain of the Special Operations Division, which encompasses recruitment, said the department was also considering bringing on another firm to study retention issues, though nothing was finalized.
“We can definitely not sit around and hope that this gets better,” Moore said. “We are trying to attack it from every angle we have.”
The department is down about 41% of available officers on a daily basis, an increase in staff from the 44% of January — the highest vacancy rate since May 2020 — but back down from the 40% of mid-March.
Of 238 sworn officers, 179 spots are filled, but factoring in officers in training and on medical or military leave brings the number to 141.
“We are still losing folks now,” Moore said.
Chief David Zack echoed Moore’s sentiments:
APD Chief David Zack told Fox News Digital that the reasons behind the steady flood of resignations in his department are complicated and multi-faceted. Zack said the APD has lost more than 100 sworn officers since May 2020, which he noted is roughly equivalent to 600 years of experience walking out the door.
He pinpointed family pressures, a lack of community support and low pay in the expensive city as major factors pushing police to throw in the towel, but explained that APD has been working with the city to make salaries more competitive. He also said that “officers are very, very frustrated” with low bail.
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