The result of Portland, Oregon joining other fashionable cities across the country in defunding their police departments has spawned a worrisome situation for the city, with murders up a grim 2,000% so far this year.
From the Washington Examiner:
Mayor Ted Wheeler has requested $2 million in emergency funding for the police department, pointing directly to the surge in gun violence. At this point last year, Portland had seen just one homicide. This year, that number is 20, with 208 shootings in the city so far.
Wheeler backed the Portland City Council’s decision to cut $15 million from the police budget last June, which included disbanding police units that investigate gun violence. Predictably, that move backfired in a city that saw 100 consecutive days of violent rioting last year.
While Democrats have been quick to pass blame for the violence plaguing American cities to the GOP, that argument is a lot harder to make in a place like the Pacific Northwest:
And this is Portland, so there is no Republican to blame for this issue. Wheeler is a Democrat. So are the city council members, with one independent who was endorsed by the council’s Democratic members. Gov. Kate Brown, who said that former President Donald Trump was “provoking confrontation for political purposes” by protecting the courthouse, is a Democrat. So is President Biden, who currently has federal agents trying to protect the courthouse.
Nor is there any plausible way to blame the availability of guns in Oregon or in neighboring states. Guns are exactly as available today as they were before this 2,000% surge in murders.
The news comes as Minneapolis, which was the center of the “Defund the Police” movement over the summer, has also had second thoughts about budget cuts for police in the city. Despite calls from the City Council to move resources from law enforcement in the city over the summer, the same members are now asking for an improved police presence as crime rates have soared and residents complained about the lack of law enforcement.
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