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Portland's Mayor Partially Defunded Cops in June. Now the Bodies Are Piling Up.

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

In June, Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland (hereby known as Antifastan) knelt before the rioters of Black Lives Matter and agreed to fire his brand-new white female police chief in favor of a black male lieutenant and cut the cop-shop budget by $7 million. The cuts included the dissolution of the gun-violence reduction team (GVRT).

He said the money would help fund new programs for “communities of color.”

Now the bodies are piling up.

The Portland police union, which has given Wheeler and all of city hall a vote of no confidence, has run the numbers on what this political defunding is doing to the public safety of Portland.

In a news release, the disgruntled officers report that the number of homicides in July alone more than doubled the number of murders for all of 2019. The number of homicide investigations underway is the highest in three decades. 

  • In July alone there were 15 homicides compared to 31 homicides in all of 2019.
  • There were 99 verified shootings in July 2020 compared to 35 in the same month last year.
  • There was a total of 388 shootings in 2019.
  • At the end of July 2020, we are already at 376 shootings year-to-date.
  • Of the 99 shootings last month, there were 38 victims shot (34 males, 4 females, 25 Black, 4 Hispanic, and 9 White).
  • For reference, Portland has averaged approximately 28 homicides per year in 2015-2019.
Portland Police Send Scorching ‘No Confidence’ Message to City Hall: Stop Defending Antifa

The police sent along a graph to make their point.

Portland homicides
(Image credit: Portland Police Association)

Wow. That’s quite a straight line up. That’s a lot of bodies in those “communities of color.”

Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner claimed that Wheeler’s ego is getting in the way of public safety.

It is time for the Mayor to support the Portland Police Bureau and the community and fully reinstate the GVRT before more blood spills on our streets. It is time for City Council to set aside their self-serving agendas and egos and correct this terrible wrong before more die from this senseless violence. It is time for our elected officials to keep Portlanders safe and stop the knee-jerk reactions that look progressive when, in fact, they could be costing lives. And it is time for our leaders to consider that statistics do not matter when mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters are being gunned down in unprecedented numbers. The dissolution of the GVRT left a void, the result of which is a rise in shootings; to pretend otherwise is negligent.

It is crucial to recognize when a mistake is a mistake, to learn, and then to change course and move forward and be better. Policing is ever-evolving along with the needs of our diverse communities. We are committed to a partnership for police reform and change. But when cutting costs is costing lives, it’s a mistake.

Wheeler has cycled through five police chiefs since he assumed office in 2017. Not only is there a dearth of leadership on the part of the mayor in his role as the police commissioner, but he has also taken an oath to protect the people of Portland and has obviously failed at that as well.

Antifa runs the streets of downtown Portland—within view of his office. He allows them to clog the streets, preventing people from moving freely. Wheeler allows the mobs to harass and threaten citizens, burn police buildings, statues and a variety of other things with impunity and then has the temerity to blame it on federal officers.

Thursday night, antifa rioters assaulted two citizens, elderly women, who tried to stop the mob from setting fire to the East Precinct. They were attempting to do the job that Wheeler forbids his cops to do. Wheeler has said nothing about these assaults.

Related: Portland Mayor Finally Admits Violent Riots Aren’t the Same as ‘Peaceful Protests,’ After 68 Nights

The police commissioner/mayor did sound concerned when antifa mobsters blocked doors and tried to set fire to the East Precinct, but failed to note it was a police facility. He appealed to the mob to stop trying to murder people – not because he was concerned for the safety of his police officers or citizens – but because it would have political ramifications by making President Trump look good by comparison. Oh, yes he did. You might want to let that piece of information settle in your gut for a minute.

Wheeler has allowed antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters to take over the streets of Portland, forbidden police to use certain crowd-control techniques, and failed to mount an effective defense of the police in court.

These are his riots and his bodies.

Related: Grand Opening, Grand Closing. Portland’s New (White) Police Chief is OUT After Riots
Related: Portland’s Antifa Sets Up ‘Autonomous Zone’ in the Mayor’s Neighborhood. It Doesn’t Last Long