Asheville Free Press Article: March 21

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As of March 15, 2022, fifteen individuals have been charged with “felony littering over 500 lbs” in connection to a demonstration that occurred the week of Christmas, 2021. The goal of the protest was to criticize the City government’s policy of evicting homeless encampments in violation of CDC guidelines during the pandemic, and it called for resources including trash service and public restrooms to be made available at public parks. Asheville Police Department (APD) alleges that the protest action resulted in “between 1,000 and 2,200 pounds of litter and refuse” and that cleanup “cost the City of Asheville an estimated $2,680.”

These charges are extremely rare. According to data from the Asheville Police Department, the last arrest for felony littering in Asheville occurred in 2012. Data from the North Carolina Judicial Branch only shows a single felony littering case in Buncombe County as a whole in the past decade.”

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