PORTLAND, OR—The city of Portland, Oregon experienced more deaths in the past month than the city has seen in over three decades.
Of the 24 homicides in Portland this year, 15 occurred in the month of July, the Portland Police Bureau reported. In 2019, only three homicides occurred in the month of July. Since July 2015, there has not been more than one homicide in the month. The Bureau stated that 63 shootings have transpired this year, with 28 taking place in 2019.
According to uniform crime statistics reported to the FBI, the number of serious offenses involving persons, property, or society in Portland in June was at its lowest since at least 2015. Total person-to-person and property crimes are down from previous years. Homicides, assaults, burglaries, and vandalism have all increased in Portland since 2019.
One such shooting occurred in Northeast Portland on July 31, 150 rounds were fired into an apartment complex in Portland’s Montavilla neighborhood. A woman standing outside of the building and hit in the arm is expected to recover. Another shooting in the neighborhood just 4 days prior resulted in the death of 19-year-old Mister Ford.
Additionally, Portland protesters and federal officers have clashed since the officers’ arrival in June.
Throughout June and July, downtown Portland was composed of roughly 10,000 protesters each night participating in marches and rallies of the Black Lives Matter movement. Deputy Police Chief Chris Davis said police took a “mostly hands-off approach” to these events since they were orderly.
Some protests resulted in damaged property, arson, and violence. President Trump sent federal officers into the city in June to police and protect monuments. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deployed officers in tactical gear from around the country and from more than six federal law enforcement agencies and departments to Portland. These officers employed tear gas and physical force as crowd-control measures, taking some protesters into custody in unmarked vehicles.
Federal officers moved out of Portland on July 30. Since then, an instance of violence has been reported on August 1 at the police precinct. The Washington post reports officers pointed bright lights into the crowd and warned protesters to disperse and, when the demonstration continued, police chased protesters, used pepper spray, and made arrests.
Portland has been the site of anti-police brutality protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died when an officer kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes in Minneapolis in May. Protesters in Portland have gathered for the cause for 67 consecutive days.