The intensity of the riots in Portland has forced the city’s elected officials to capitulate to some of the demands of Antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement. This includes defunding and eventually abolishing the police. In particular, the Portland City Council – comprised entirely of Democrats – reduced the size of the PPB. This meant disbanding the GVRT, which took effect on July 1.
In the month of July alone, the city recorded 15 homicides, significantly higher figures than those between January 1 to the end of June, when there were only nine murders in Portland. The latest killing occurred on July 28, when a 34-year-old woman was stabbed to death in northeast Portland. The PPB has also stated that this is the highest number of killings they have had in a month in over three decades. In addition, the PPB reported that they recorded a total of 63 shootings from July 1 to 26, compared to just 28 in the same month last year.
“That’s very concerning,” said PPB Chief Chuck Lovell at a recent virtual press conference. “I mean, to know that many people have been killed in such a short period of time.”
Lovell also made a direct connection between the GVRT’s disbandment and the struggles the PPB had to endure since the end of May.
The loss of the team, Lovell said, has forced the bureau “into a position where we have to really look at what resources we can bring to bear, absent that structure that we had with the Gun Violence Reduction Team.” Lovell added that they have had to “re-resource” the department because of the team’s disbandment.
At a different interview, Lovell stated that the loss of the team had a “diminishing effect” on how quickly and efficiently the bureau was able to investigate shooting incidents.
The GVRT was composed of 34 handpicked and specially trained PPB officers. They operated with a $5.7 million budget, which will now be diverted into programs that will increase police accountability. Some of the money will also be invested back into the city’s Black and Brown communities.
Laurie Palmer, the founder and CEO of Go Get Your Child, a violence prevention nonprofit, said that the violence in Portland is “really out of control.”
“I’ve never seen in such a short time so much violence affect so many families,” she added.
Palmer also disagrees with the Portland City Council’s decision to disband the GVRT, as she firmly believes that a lot of the shooting incidents would probably not have occurred if they were still active, especially since Palmer believes that they help get guns off the street. She also argues that the city council rushed the disbanding of the GVRT and, as a result, was unable to enforce a system that will help the PPB take on the team’s former responsibilities.
Sam Sachs, founder and CEO of the No Hate Zone, a nonprofit promoting racial equality in Portland, agrees. Sachs even stated that he would be more than happy to reform the GVRT if it meant that the team would return to protecting the city. He even agreed that a lot of reforms need to be passed in Portland; however, the presence of the GVRT is necessary because their absence is “making the problem [of violence] even worse.” (Related: Violent left-wing demonstrators were going to behead a pig in the streets but their plan was foiled by Portland police.)
Palmer and Sachs have stated that they want city leaders to come up with a proper plan to address the increase in violence and to stop it.
It has been over two months since the beginning of the engineered rioting in the United States, and it is showing no signs of stopping. Keep up with the latest developments in crime-infested cities like Portland, Seattle and Chicago by subscribing to Rioting.news.