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Asheville committee members’ vehicles vandalized, painted with anarchy symbols

<i>Asheville Police/WLOS via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Asheville police say two steering committee members were vandalized in the last couple of weeks
Lawrence, Nakia
Asheville Police/WLOS via CNN Newsource
Asheville police say two steering committee members were vandalized in the last couple of weeks

By Neydja Petithomme

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — Asheville City Council and other community leaders are becoming increasingly concerned about their safety after police say two committee members’ vehicles were vandalized in two weeks.

According to Asheville police, two steering committee members were hit by vandals.

In one instance, the words “No BID” were spray-painted on a car, apparently referencing the Business Improvement District recently approved by Asheville City Council. The anarchy symbol was also painted on the vehicle.

The most recent case involved spray-painted graffiti and slashed tires. This time, the graffiti included the message “eat ****,” using the anarchy symbol in place of the letter “a.”

Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer brought the incident to the community’s attention.

“A member of the task force was targeted last week. Their car was vandalized, and tires were slashed,” she expressed.

The anarchy symbol, which appeared in both instances, has impacted members of the community involved in the decision-making process of downtown’s new Business Improvement District (BID).

hris Cooper, a political science professor at Western Carolina University, said that these acts of vandalism are meant to send a political message.

“This is another type of political action, meaning that it is vandalism with the intent to send a political message,” he said. “This is somebody or a group of people trying to send a message to the citizens of Asheville, the Asheville City Government, and they’re trying to get attention, and that’s exactly what is happening.”

In a statement from Asheville police, the investigation is still ongoing.

“Asheville police are investigating both instances of targeted vandalism to vehicles. We ask that if any member of the public has any information about these incidents to please contact APD,” authorities said.

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