Portland, Oregon, police are begging residents of the city to help “break the cycle of violence” as the number of murders and shootings in the city have skyrocketed.
Portland has been home to violence for months, with an ongoing, nightly demonstration by “anti-fascist” elements, that has often resulted in significant property damage and multiple arrests. But now, the police say, the number of shootings and murders in the city 2020 are nearly double those of 2019, according to Fox News.
“At least 850 shootings have been reported in Portland as of Dec. 24, with 59 reported so far this month, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) statistics show. There were 33 shootings reported in December of last year,” Fox News notes. “As of Christmas Eve, this year’s shootings had surpassed last year’s by more than 116%, with 393 shootings reported in all of 2019, statistics show.”
The numbers have Portland police, who have been the target of one of the most aggressive efforts to defund and disband law enforcement anywhere in the country, pleading with the community to step in and provide support.
“Gun violence has plagued our city at twice the rate of last year,” the city’s police chief, Chuck Lovell said in a video message posted to social media. “On average, someone is shot in Portland roughly every two days.”
“We’ve come together to mask up, to stay home to keep others safe. We have come together to do our best to stop the spread of a deadly disease,” he added, comparing the spike in crime to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “Violence is also a disease that kills and our community is suffering the consequences.”
As The Daily Wire reported earlier this month, police officers have been leaving the Portland Police Department in droves, tired of the lack of support and exhausted from the ongoing unrest that devolved into a riot nearly every weekend for months.
“Nine officers have resigned from the Portland Police Department since November, and another 14 have filed papers to leave by the end of January,” the Daily Wire’s Tim Pearce reported. “Seven others have made initial filings preparing to retire. About 25 officers are looking to transfer to other police departments.”
Most recently, the Portland Police have been struggling with an “autonomous zone” — and ongoing occupation-style protest. When Portland Police tried to dismantle the protest, they were met with resistance and both their leadership and Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, later apologized.
The spike in gun violence could be the direct result of Portland officials’ efforts to “defund the police.” The Portland city council voted to disband the Portland police department’s Gun Violence Reduction Team back in July, which defunded the Portland police operation by $15 million. The city council and mayor voted down a proposal to strip another $18 million from the department’s $229 million yearly budget back in November.
The department, however, has been told to prepare for a $10 million budget cut next year.
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