Following the publication of the crime statistics, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler issued a statement in which he said, “This report confirms the unfortunate reality of what we already knew – that gun violence is on the rise in Portland and that it is being driven by a very small percentage of our population.”
The city’s crime data was compiled by researchers for the California Partnership for Safe Communities, who specifically looked at homicides and non-fatal shootings from 2019 to 2021. According to the data, homicides rose by 144% between January 2019 and June 2021. While the number of nonfatal shootings rises by 241% between January 2019 and December 2021.
With 36 homicides in 2019 compared to 26 in 2018, the violent crime rate started to increase. 28 homicides had been the city’s 20-year average, with 2004 being the outlier with 29 homicides.
The data demonstrate that this average was quickly disrupted. Homicides increased by 58 percent in 2020 to 57 deaths from the previous year, and by 54 percent in 2021 to 88 killings. In comparison to statistics from 2018, there was a 238 percent increase in the number of homicides in 2021.
Meanwhile, from 2019 to 2021, the number of non-fatal shootings more than tripled. The number of non-fatal shootings in the city increased from 98 in 2019 to 218 in 2020 and 334 in 2021.
The majority of suspects in both non-fatal shooting and homicide cases had previously been arrested and were known to the criminal justice system, according to the study. Prior to a homicide, suspects were detained an average of six times, whereas prior to shootings, detainees were detained an average of eight times.
Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, there were almost constant demonstrations and riots in Portland in 2020, which continued into 2021.
Beginning in the summer of 2020, there were at least 100 nights of protests and riots in the city, which resulted in businesses being burned and looted, the establishment of a “autonomous zone” defying police intervention, more than $2 million in damage to federal structures, and complaints from business owners about their lost sales and subsequent losses due to the rioters.
The crime in Portland is consistent with a national trend, with murders rising by about 30% in 2020 compared to 2019, the largest annual increase since the FBI started keeping track of the crimes.
The defund the police movement, the coronavirus pandemic and its lockdowns that upended society, and the Ferguson effect were all mentioned by crime experts who previously spoke to Fox News Digital.
“Certainly, the protests and riots mid-2020 after the death of George Floyd followed a pattern of spiking violence that we’ve seen following past viral police incidents, such as the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray. This pattern has been termed the ‘Ferguson Effect’: police pull back while violent crime spikes precipitously,” Hannah Meyers, director of the Manhattan Institute’s policing and public safety initiative, told Fox News Digital.
Portland experienced the largest increase in homicides, according to a crime study that also compared it to five other “peer comparison cities,” including Minneapolis, Atlanta, San Francisco, Denver, and Nashville. The second-highest increase in homicides from 2019 to 2021 was recorded in Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed and riots also broke out in 2020.
According to the most recent Portland Police data, there were 39 homicides from January to May, down from 40 homicides during the same time period in 2021. This indicates that crime in Portland has continued throughout the year. Police staffing issues have made the crime problem worse; in November, the department’s number of officers fell to its lowest level in 30 years.
Wheeler added in his remarks on the study on Saturday, “I look forward to incorporating this significant data and the California Partnership’s recommendations into our future efforts to address gun violence, including Safer Summer PDX and beyond.