The Portland Police Bureau is asking for the community’s help in ending a spike in violence across the city. According to Fox News, at least 850 shootings have been reported in Portland as of Dec. 24. The outlet noted that there were at least 59 reported shootings in December alone.
“As of Christmas Eve, this year’s shootings had surpassed last year’s by more than 116%, with 393 shootings reported in all of 2019, statistics show,” Fox pointed out. “At least 53 murders have been reported in Portland as of Dec. 24 — the highest yearly total the city has seen in nearly 30 years.”
Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell in a Dec. 16 video appealed to the public and insisted that the public needed to lock arms and “do everything we can together to break the cycle of violence.”
“Gun violence has plagued our city at twice the rate of last year,” he said. “On average, someone is shot in Portland roughly every two days.”
“We’ve come together to mask up, to stay home to keep others safe. We have come together to do our best to stop the spread of a deadly disease,” he continued. “Violence is also a disease that kills and our community is suffering the consequences.”
“We cannot lose sight of the fact these are human beings who have died,” Lovell added.
According to a report from KGW-TV, Portland Police Bureau Lieutenant Greg Pashley reported that there were at least 225 victims of gun violence in Portland in 2020 alone.
“The number of bullets that must have been flying around our neighborhoods, city streets, sidewalks — it’s awful,” Pashley said.
The bureau is now asking for a a community-wide effort and action to help put a stop to gun violence across the city after its gun violence reduction team was disbanded over the summer. The team was dismantled after activists and gun control activists said that the bureau was guilty of racism in “stopping people of color disproportionately to others,” the station reported.
Pashley later said that “[s]ocial services, government organizations, non-government organizations, church based [organizations]” are of utmost importance “so that people feel as if they have support and options other than to act out violently.”
Sgt. Kenneth Duilio — who worked on the now-disbanded gun violence reduction task force for approximately 19 years — said that many of the killings are gang-related.
“They’re all connected,” he said. “And some of these connections don’t just go back, like, for a few weeks or a few months. They go back years and years.”