Multnomah District Attorney Mike Schmidt has wreaked havoc on Portland by refusing to prosecute violent criminals. Most notably, his office declined to prosecute over 90% of the charges related the BLM and Antifa riots in 2020.
Portland’s dramatic rise in homicides directly coincides with Schmidt taking office.
This week Mike Schmidt released a report on “prosecutor attitudes, perspectives, and priorities.” The report includes survey questions that Multnomah County prosecutors answered for Dr. Kelsey Henderson, an Assistant Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Portland State University.
The survey shows that Schmidt has staffed his office with activists holding the same radical ideologies as himself.
93.6% of prosecutors say they agree, at least somewhat, that “prosecutors should work to reduce the overrepresentation of people of color in the justice system.”
95.7% of prosecutors say they agree, at least somewhat, that “prosecutors should reduce racial disparities in case outcomes.”
Blacks are overrepresented in the justice system because they commit crimes more often than other races. In 2021, 40% of known homicides suspects in Portland were Black, even though they only made up about 6% of the local population. However, Schmidt has created a DA’s office where almost everyone believes it is their mission to reduce the number of Blacks being held in custody by the criminal justice system. Selective prosecution based on race.
These activist prosecutors believe that the answer to high Black crime rates is to treat criminals as victims of circumstance. The report by Henderson describes this in detail, saying, “when thinking about defendants, this involves considering the root causes of criminal behavior (e.g., disproportionate effects of poverty), historical racism, and the long-term impacts that policing and incarceration have had on communities of color.”
Henderson stresses “the importance of using a racial equity lens in prosecution.” When charging or sentencing a “person of color,” “historical racism or structural inequalities” should be considered.