March 13, 2021
It turns out that defending the police might not be a very wise policy prescription. Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland, Oregon, announced Thursday he would seek $2 million in one-time funding for police, other agencies and outreach programs to try to stem rampant gun violence in the city.
The move by Mayor Ted Wheeler represents an about-face after city leaders in June voted to cut nearly $16 million from the police budget, reductions that included the elimination of a gun violence reduction unit. The cuts came amid racial justice protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Oregon’s largest city has seen a spike in violence. So far this year, there have been 20 homicides, most the result of shootings. During the same period of 2020 — the deadliest year in the city in more than a quarter century — there was one.