Fox Information stories Asheville is crime-ridden, harmful

Fox Information stories Asheville is crime-ridden, harmful

By Sally Kestin, Asheville Watchdog 

Fox Information final week informed a nationwide viewers that Asheville has seen a 31% enhance in violent crime within the final 5 years. “Asheville as soon as touted as a top-10 vacationer vacation spot again in 2017, however with crime raging, town now ranks, get this, within the high 10% of most violent cities in America,” anchor Todd Piro stated. “That’s robust to imagine.”

Sure, it’s.

The 31% enhance shouldn’t be present. It refers to a interval ending in 2020, when crime had elevated nationwide. Violent crime — homicide, rape, theft and aggravated assault — went down in Asheville in 2021.

And the reference to Asheville being among the many most violent cities got here from an evaluation, additionally primarily based on 2020 knowledge, that mixed all violent crimes — a probably deceptive solution to view the statistics, stated Christopher Herrmann, an assistant professor on the John Jay School of Felony Justice in New York Metropolis.

For example, Wilmington, a metropolis of 115,000 folks on North Carolina’s east coast, had double the variety of murders as Asheville however a decrease general violent crime charge: 685 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants versus Asheville’s 805.

For the reason that starting of 2022, Asheville has seen an uptick in aggravated assaults, outlined as attacking somebody with the intent of inflicting extreme damage. However the raging crime, carjackings and Mexican drug cartel exercise described by Fox Information?

“Crime is a critical situation and one which I hear about as a high concern for our group,” stated Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer. “Is our group unsafe as the image is painted by Fox Information? No, completely not.”

Sheriff: Asheville is protected

The Fox Information report blamed Asheville’s left-leaning politicians for town’s purported violent crime downside. “CRIME SOARS IN DEM-RUN TOURIST TOWN,” stated the chyron. One other chyron proclaimed “TOWN BECOMING HUB OF ANTIFA.”

The section featured ex-Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan, a former Democrat who blamed “leftist politicians” for what he stated was anti-police sentiment in Asheville. Duncan, who retired as sheriff in 2018, ran the division for 12 years, changing Bobby Lee Medford.

Duncan stated in the section that crime began to climb as these leftist politicians set an agenda that included lowering the jail inhabitants. He additionally stated Antifa and activists had been lively in Asheville and described the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 as “riots.”

Duncan’s successor, Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller, informed Asheville Watchdog, “We’ve seen some violent crime numbers go up,” however like Asheville Police, the Sheriff’s Workplace noticed a decline in violent crimes in 2021.

Miller stated he has not encountered an anti-law enforcement sentiment. “The Buncombe county commissioners have stood with me 100%,” he stated, supporting pay raises and new gear.

The jail inhabitants did decline, particularly through the worst of Covid, as some non-violent inmates awaiting trial had been launched. However the sheriff stated, “We didn’t see a rise … so far as crimes being dedicated.”

An on-line model of the Fox Information report stated, with out citing any particulars, that there was proof in Asheville “of elevated Mexican drug cartel exercise within the space, based on a number of regulation enforcement sources who spoke to Fox Information Digital.”

Sheriff Miller stated, “Fentanyl is killing our people regionally,” as it’s throughout North Carolina and the U.S. However the drug-dealing arrests in Buncombe up to now haven’t included Latinos. “We haven’t actually seen as you’d name it the cartel,” he stated.

Extra folks at the moment are armed with weapons and weapons, stated Miller, an Asheville native. “However so far as Asheville being protected, I believe it’s protected.”

No discernible distinction

Herrmann, a former crime analyst supervisor with the New York Metropolis Police Division, stated he checked out crime statistics in cities with liberal and conservative majorities final 12 months and located no discernible distinction. “There have been loads of Republican-mayor cities with crime additionally going up,” he stated.

Mayor Manheimer stated, “Fox Information is doing their greatest to attempt to spotlight these evil Democrat blue cities like New York and Chicago and L.A., and I assume now we’re going to give attention to Asheville. It’s a continuation of this theme of, ‘It is best to fear. You’re not protected in your personal residence. You’re not protected in your group. You’re not protected strolling down the sidewalk.’ And that’s not the case in Asheville.”

Fox Information host Tucker Carlson final week took intention at Manheimer, whom he described as sporting “difficult eyeglasses that every one the lady bosses now put on.” Beneath her management, Carlson claimed, Asheville as a stupendous place “shouldn’t have any crime, however it has lots now.” And he stated Asheville had “lots of carjackings.”

Carjacking shouldn’t be a prison cost in North Carolina. Asheville police spokesman Invoice Davis stated the division has had 16 robberies involving theft of a automobile because the starting of 2021. 4 police press releases or information stories up to now two years talked about “carjackings,” together with  one in February 2022, when police stated a person compelled a 91-year-old girl from her automotive and drove away.

Chief cites officer vacancies

Asheville Watchdog dug into town’s crime statistics and located violent crime in Asheville disproportionately impacts Black residents, particularly younger Black residents.

“There actually are folks which can be at increased danger,” Manheimer stated.

However the violence, the mayor stated, “is pretty remoted in our group. And it’s not usually random.”

Fox Information stories Asheville is crime-ridden, harmful