Shootings increase during Portland protests
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — During the two-month span of protests in Portland, Oregon, following the killing of of George Floyd authorities say Oregon’s largest city has seen a spike in shootings, vandalism, arson and murder from previous years.
Between the beginning of June and end of July this year, there were 125 reported shootings, the Portland Police Bureau reported Thursday. During that same time frame in 2019, there were a total of 59 shootings.
And so far in July there have been 15 slayings, police said.
“That’s very concerning, to know that that many people have been killed in such a short period of time,” Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell told reporters.
Earlier this month the police department’s Gun Violence Reduction 34-member team was dissolved in response to police reform changes. Now officers from patrol are being transferred to the detective division to help follow-up on shootings and homicides, Lovell said.
In addition crimes such as arson, vandalism and burglary have increased since the start of the protests on May 29, authorities said.
Between the end of May and late July, police reported 112 arsons. The average, during that same time frame, for each of the three previous years was 32.
However, other crimes such as rape, car theft, shoplifting and drug offenses have decreased, based on Portland Police Bureau data.
Since the start of the protests downtown, police said high-priority response times have increased from 7.5 minutes to 11.5 minutes.