In June of 2020, the Portland City Commission voted to reduce the Portland police bureau’s budget by $15 million. The commission did this to pander to Black Lives Matter rioters.
City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty spearheaded the move. She argued that the police had excessive “resources” that they did not need. Just a few months later, Hardesty famously made a frivolous call to 911. She called a Lyft driver to pick her up at a casino. Hardesty called the emergency number on the driver because he refused to wind a window up all the way. The driver said the window was down slightly as a precaution against Covid-19.
In 2020, Portland had 54 homicides, a staggering 50% increase over 2019. Individual shootings in 2020 went up 127% compared to 2019. 2020 and 1993 are tied for the deadliest year in the history of the city.
As of March 10th, Portland has had at least 20 homicides, over thirty other non-fatal gunshot victims, and over 200 total shootings in 2021 so far. Portland is easily on track to have the deadliest year in the history of the city. In 2016, Portland only had 20 homicides for the entire year!
Now Ted Wheeler is endorsing a plan originally proposed by the police chief last December. He wants to give the police an extra $2 million to increase uniformed patrols in areas with the most shootings.
Of course, this move would directly increase the number of interactions between police and Blacks and Latinos. Something Wheeler, Hardesty, and others on the City Commission said they wanted to reduce last year.