Taking his cues from similar measures in Florida, North Carolina State Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-Hendersonville) announced this week that he’s going to introduce a bill that will strip state funding from any city that votes to defund their local police force. In remarks to the Asheville Citizen-Times, Edwards said that moving to keep law enforcement funded and healthy is essential to keeping North Carolina citizens safe.
“When the legislature reconvenes next year, the first bill I will introduce will defund cities that defund police,” he said. “We must maintain law and order. While municipalities have control over their local budgets, the state legislature also has control of its budget, and I intend to help create an environment where public safety is a priority.”
Unlike in Florida, where Gov. DeSantis’s proposed legislation is more of a “just in case” scenario – there has been little of the radical anti-police frothing in the Sunshine State that we’ve seen in other parts of the country – Edwards is speaking directly to a real phenomenon bubbling up in the district right nextdoor to his own.
“Edwards’ proposed legislation comes amid turmoil in Asheville, a liberal bastion in the otherwise conservative western part of North Carolina,” reports The Daily Wire. “Edwards’ district shares a county with Asheville, which has drawn national attention recently for its city council’s calls for reparations and defunding of the police. Earlier this week, the city council agreed to defund the city’s Police Department by 3%, or $770,000.”
The Ashville Police Department reported Wednesday that protesters “left a casket full of dirt and what we believe to be cow manure at the front door of the APD.”
In remarks to a local news station, APD Police Chief David Zuck said that the casket is being seen as “threatening imagery” against police in Asheville.
“We’ve seen tombstones left at elected officials’ homes, we have seen wanted posters distributed through the city,” Zack said. “One of the individuals who is on the wanted posted in addition to myself is now in the hospital with a skull fracture. Now this. You are looking to incite violence against police, this just weeks after we buried Henderson County Deputy Ryan Hendrix, who was killed in the line of duty.”
We’d like to believe that threats of decreased state funding will stop radical city councils from pushing forward with an anti-police agenda, but if you’re already so stupid as to think your town can get along without law enforcement, are you smart enough to understand what losing that money would mean to your citizens?