Portland – There may be no better example of how failed leadership combined with being “woke” is hurting the African American community than Portland, Oregon. Citing a supposed “disproportionate” stops of people of color, Portland’s Gun Violence Reduction Team was eliminated last year by Portland politicians as part of a $15 million dollar defunding effort. At the time, the head of the Portland Police Union, Daryl Turner, said he believed the disbanding of the unit was definitely “one of the biggest mistakes the police commissioner’s ever made… the safety of our community is in jeopardy when we do something like this.”
A year later, violence has hit record levels and there appears to be no stopping it. Saturday’s mass shooting in downtown killed a teenager and injured at least six others and in the past 38 hours, there were 11 shootings which resulted in 13 people being killed or wounded.
With 52 murders in 2021, Portland is just three homicides away from their entire total in 2020 and the victims are disproportionately black. While African Americans make up just 6% of the population, they have been the victims in 47% of the homicides in 2021.
Ironically, while the politicians want to take effective police resources away in the name of disparity, those same politicians remain silent when that disparity involves the deaths of blacks.
Just when you thought the politicians would want to stop the senseless killings of their residents and reverse their silly “re-imagining” that took the very unit off the streets responsible for stopping violence, they have a new idea.
They are bringing back the “Gun Violence Reduction Team” with a new name…Focused Intervention Team.
But they haven’t just changed in name but practice as well. No longer will officers be able to stop criminals but they will be working with outreach workers who will identify people who are at the highest risk of becoming shooters—and amazingly—identifying people who are somehow likely to be victims of shootings.
The officers will not be allowed to “stop and frisk” because you guessed it…disparity. And according to Oregon Live, the outreach and engagement involves talking to suspected shooters and victims about their risk and how support services can help them.
If that wasn’t enough to ensure that no cop with a brain would ever volunteer for the job, the new unit will report directly to a civilian oversight board to ensure that the sins of the now defunct “Gun Violence Reduction Team” are not being repeated.
Things like stopping criminals, taking guns off the streets and a host of other police activities designed to actually keep citizens safe are no longer allowed.
You may have guessed it but Portland will never have a Focused Intervention Team because no one in their right mind would ever do it. After months of looking, just three officers have volunteered to fill the unit designed to hold twelve.
What cities like Portland are doing must stop and while we know that it’s not in the nature of any politician to admit wrongdoing, this wrong is literally killing people and it is killing the very ones those politicians claim they are trying to save.
But save from what?
The Portland Police Department is made up of good men and women that focused on one thing. Saving the lives of their residents and providing them with the safest possible community to raise their families. For decades, they did just that and while eliminating any and all disparities may sound virtuous in a college classroom, that isn’t how the real world works.
Criminals commit crime and they could care less about the race of whomever they are committing it against.
Cops seek to stop that crime and they could care less about the race of those they are stopping.
The city of Portland will likely never return to what it once was and maybe that’s what the politicians wanted but history should tell the truth about the downfall.
Portland certainly has a violence problem but that was preceded with a political problem…not a police problem.