Knox County DA General asks for community to help curb violent crime

Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen says the community is essential in curbing violent crime.
18 Unsolved Killings This Year
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 3:14 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 10:10 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knox County could be on track to surpass last year’s numbers for homicides, according to Knox County’s District Attorney General Charme Allen. The fix to the problem, Allen said, lies in cooperation between law enforcement and community-members.

Less than 10 months into 2021, Knox County has seen 38 homicides, 18 of which are still unsolved and have not seen any charges filed. Last year, Knox County saw 45 homicides total with 18 not solved also. Allen spoke with WVLT News about what this could mean for the county.

“We’re on course right now with 38, unfortunately, to see about the same number of homicides that we saw last year,” said Allen. “If the trend continues we may end up with slightly more of those by year’s end that we are not able to charge a suspect in.”

Just because someone is not charged in a case, however, does not mean that no progress has been made.

“In all of these cases, many of these cases we have leads that we followed, we have evidence that’s been sent off to crime labs,” Allen said. “We’re waiting on results. We’re interviewing witnesses. So just because there are 18 cases that do not have someone being charged at this point, doesn’t mean in all 18 of those cases we have absolutely nothing. It just means that as of right now we don’t have enough information to charge someone.”

Allen further emphasized the importance of community involvement when it comes to solving violent crime.

“It’s really about cooperation between the community, law enforcement, prosecutors, all of us working together because it is all of our community,” she said.

Allen also asked Knox County residents to continue to make use of the East Tennessee Valley Crimestoppers reporting system. Law enforcement is constantly looking for possible leads on cases, she said.

“Law enforcement is there ready to follow the lead, but law enforcement has to have the leads to follow,” Allen said. “We just rely so heavily on the community.”

Something else to keep in mind is that this recent spike in violent crime is not unique to Knox County, Allen said. The last two years have seen a violent crime spike all over the country.

“It is not unique to Knoxville. It has happened all over the country,” she said.

Those with information on a case can call the Knox County Sheriff’s Office at 865-922-1070.

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