The ramifications of reducing and defunding the police are rearing their ugly head across the nation as lawmakers realize they may have gone a bit too far. Crime keeps ticking up and there are fewer police officers to handle the occurrences. In Portland, OR, things are even a little more dicey, as vandalism, looting, and setting fires have become just part of a normal day according to residents. Police say this has made it almost impossible for them to intervene.
Last week, a crowd of 100 people went about smashing storefront windows and starting dumpster fires in the City of Roses, causing at least $500,000 in damage. Residents and business owners looked on while local police officers did nothing to stop the chaos. Portland Police Bureau officials say it’s not by choice, but because of House Bill 2928 which restricts the methods and tools officers are allowed to use for crowd control.
During a neighborhood meeting, Portland Police Lt. Jake Jensen explained: “The reason that we did not intervene goes back to what we talked about last month with House Bill 2928 and the restrictions placed on us in a crowd control environment.” Resident Linda Witt asked, “Does that mean we are now like a lawless city?”
The legislation prohibits the use of certain tools such as rubber bullets and pepper spray. The only exception is during a riot and only if the officer feels it is necessary to stop or prevent events from escalating. But the department is hesitant, and officers aren’t completely sure how the new law works. Oregon House Minority Leader Christine Drazan, a Republican, told the Associated Press, “The law clearly allows Portland Police to use effective tools necessary to control violent crowds. However, activist attorneys are deliberately misinterpreting legislation to prevent police from intervening. They have no business putting law enforcement and community safety at risk.”
Police Sgt. Keven Allen told the AP that the city’s attorney’s office is analyzing the new law. “Until we have some clarity on the bill we have to follow the most restrictive interpretation of it.”
Without the presence of law enforcement and with the negative opinion of police across the nation, crime seems to be spiraling out of control. Homicides have increased 16% in the U.S. this year compared to 2020, according to the Council on Criminal Justice’s pandemic crime report. And the liberal media isn’t helping.
When the protests on Jan. 6 at the Capitol turned into some “storming” the building, it was called an insurrection. Yet when several city blocks were seized in Seattle, WA, the mayor called it a “summer of love.” While peace officers in Portland were barricaded inside their building and protesters tried to burn them alive, there was no call for investigations, prosecutions, or Capitol Hill involvement from the Democrats. In Kenosha, WI, CNN’s Omar Jimenez was live on the scene as a mob set fire to buildings, all the while the data below his broadcast read “fiery but mostly peaceful protests after police shooting.”
Democrats scurried to provide bail money for those involved during the George Floyd protests, but the “deplorables” who breached the Capitol Building are being treated like political prisoners. One unarmed protester was killed that day – but a number of murders and the loss of a great many businesses can be attributed to protests against law enforcement.
But who really suffers? The residents – and the police officers who are forced to face crowds potentially dangerous crowds with fewer resources to defend themselves and the citizens they are sworn to protect.
~ Read more from Kelli Ballard.