September 28, 2020

“Death to the pigs.” The social unrest continues in North Carolina with this latest phrase spray-painted on the walls of businesses in downtown Raleigh this weekend declaring the rioters’ sentiments.

Another night of demonstrations amid barricaded streets and boarded-up downtown windows did not keep the hooligans from breaking windows and wreaking havoc on downtown businesses before the capital city’s 11 pm curfew.

City leaders addressed the damage, with Raleigh Chief of Police Cassandra Deck-Brown acknowledging  that with the “Death to the pigs” slogans and other graffiti painted on wall, “clearly some of the tagging last night was indicative that they were anarchists.”

Earlier this week, the city of Durham dealt with much of the same activity the night of the announcement of a Louisville, Kentucky grand jury’s decision about police involvement in the March death of Breonna Taylor.  

The angry crowd left at least a dozen businesses damaged, with windows broken, and fires were set. The police chief C. J. Davis said the activity “caught us by surprise.” Durham Mayor Steve Schewel said the damage was caused by “people who came to town bent on destruction.”

Can you imagine owning small businesses or having your offices in our state’s city downtowns and recognizing that the city’s leadership will not protect your interests. It’s not just Raleigh and Durham. Charlotte and other cities have had their share of violence.

We can’t say it enough. The primary role of government is public safety, and we are seeing the liberal leadership of these cities continue to allow activity that creates fear and a negative atmosphere that has to hurt the business interests of those with downtown businesses. 

The whole “Defund the Police” movement is making waves in so many ways. A week ago in Asheville, there was the story of 31 police officers choosing to leave the Asheville police department since June 1.

Then this week, Asheville was in the news again when it voted to cut $770,000 for the city’s budget for the police department.

That doesn’t seem to be the messaging a city reliant on tourism wants to send to the public.

With the Defund the Police movement continuing to get national headlines and at the forefront of so much in America culture right now, it will be interesting to see if other North Carolina cities will follow suit.

After the Defund the Police effort began to build steam back in July and August, reported that at least 13 cities across the country were defunding their police departments.

Concerns have arisen about how the Defund the Police effort will impact public safety and whether the average citizen or small businessperson, especially in high-crime neighborhoods, will be able to count on police to keep them safe when the rank-and-file policemen do not appear to have the support of city leadership to do their jobs.

These are trying times. Our hope and prayer is that law and order will be restored, that the radical leaders of the violent demonstrations are exposed, and that common sense public safety will somehow be allowed to return to our communities.