Portland, Oregon’s City Council approved $1.4 million to go toward the hiring of “unarmed” park rangers for around-the-clock foot patrols, Breitbart reports.
KGW reports there will be “two dozen” such patrols. The money for the “unarmed” patrols is part of a larger $6 million plan, none of which will go to the Portland Police Bureau. “$4.1 million will be earmarked for community groups that work in the neighborhoods hardest-hit by gunfire.”
The Associated Press quoted Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s (D) opinion on the approved funding: “We agree that the immediate spike in gun violence is a public health threat that requires a public health response that invests in community-based organizations working to change the conditions and environments that foster violence.”
After almost a year of nonstop violent riots by Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and other far-left domestic terrorist organizations in the city of Portland, over 100 of the city’s police officers have quit the force out of protest of the city’s failure to adequately handle the violence, according to Fox News.
The report first came from the newspaper The Oregonian, which said that since July of 2020, approximately 115 officers have left the department to take lower-paying jobs just to get out of the dangerous environment. The paper described it as “one of the biggest waves of departures in recent memory.”
Out of 31 exit interviews from officers who left during this time period, the general consensus was that the officers quit because they felt that they were receiving “zero support” from the community and local leadership. One officer said that “the city council are raging idiots, in addition to being stupid,” and that “the mayor and council ignore actual facts on crime and policing in favor of radical leftist and anarchist fantasy.”
As a result of the spike in riots, which began last summer after the accidental overdose death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Portland also saw its homicide rate surge to its highest point in 26 years, with 55 deaths over the course of 2020. Numerous efforts by Mayor Ted Wheeler (D-Ore.) to try to curb gun violence in the city, through special police forces and various multi-million dollar studies, have all failed thus far. Wheeler and other local leaders were widely criticized for refusing to crack down on the riots, with their inaction attributed to the fact that they shared many of the same political stances as the far-left rioters.
Democratic Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler submitted a request to the Portland City Council on Thursday for a one-time $2 million expenditure for police, months after the council voted to cut nearly $16 million from the police bureau’s budget.
Wheeler, who previously advocated for the Portland Police Bureau’s budget to be cut, cited a dangerous surge in gun violence throughout the city as the primary reason for requesting the funds, according to the Oregonian.
Riots broke out in Seattle and Portland, Oregon on Wednesday night after demonstrators clashed with police and vandalized a Democratic Party office.
People dressed in all black shattered windows and the glass door to the Oregon Democratic Party’s office in Portland, according to The New York Times, vandalizing it with spray paint and posting a video to social media, saying that their actions were in response to the inauguration of President Joe Biden. In Seattle, police said that several buildings were vandalized.
A group of rioters in Portland threatened to burn down a law enforcement precinct, hurled projectiles at officers and damaged police cruisers on Wednesday, authorities said.
Roughly 50 violent demonstrators, some of whom donned gas masks and shields, chanted “burn it down” in reference to a law enforcement headquarters in the city, according to a press release. Members of the crowd destroyed surveillance cameras outside of the precinct, tried to rip down a fence and used spikes to slash the tires of cop vehicles, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) wrote.
A group of violent demonstrators in Portland hurled “Molotovs cocktail-style firebombs”, lit fires and tried to break into a federal courthouse house on New Year’s Eve, authorities said.
Between 80 and 100 rioters tossed at least two firebombs and launched “aerial-grade fireworks” at both the federal building and a county justice facility, according to a press release from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). Others in the group attempted to break into the federal facility using tools, the department wrote.
Portland’s autonomous zone, which is moving into its third day, has been “stockpiling weapons” and has instituted armed patrols to defend the walled-in city occupation, authorities said.
Since the encampment began, rioters have increased fortifications around city streets, assaulted residents, and law enforcement has noticed the presence of “armed sentries” patrolling intersections, according to a press release from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB).
Portland State University announced in August its plan to disarm campus police officers by replacing their firearms with tasers, but those plans have been put on a temporary hold.
The plan to disarm officers was announced earlier in 2020 after rallies and protesters at PSU called for justice for Jason Washington, who was killed by officers in 2018. Campus Reform reported on the efforts of PSU students and staff to disarm officers in 2019.
Seattle, Portland, and New York City are suing President Donald Trump and his administration over legal actions that have put future federal funds on the line.
The joint lawsuit is in response to a memo issued by the Trump administration last month requesting U.S. Attorney General William Barr review a list of cities that could be considered hotbeds for civil unrest.