Portland, Oregon is often referred to by its official nickname, Rose City. Over the years Portland has developed into a haven for liberal-minded peaceniks who now control every aspect of the city. In 2020 Portlands residents opted to let love and kindness rule their utopian city so they pulled $15 million from their annual police budget. Officers were instructed to use a gentler marshmallow-fisted approach on wayward criminals who could be decent people with a little of the right therapy.
To the surprise of no one except the lug-headed flower children of Portland, none of this has worked. Rose City has already seen 67 murders this year and crime has become as natural and acceptable as peeing in a gutter or establishing residence in a city park. It’s a mess.
Murder #67 happened when a guy working in a tavern ran across the street to a pizza bar to down a quick beer on his break. It was in northwest Portland where all of the cool kids hang out at trendy restaurants, coffee houses, cafes, and such.
Jacob Eli Knight Vasquez had barely swallowed his first gulp when gunfire shattered the air. The bullet that struck and killed the 34-year-old wasn’t intended for him. Vasquez was in the wrong spot and got hit by a stray. He immediately fell dead. Over and out.
Unlike the days of not too very long ago when Portland truly was a peaceful city with a less than average crime rate, residents are afraid to leave their homes. Violent gangs are controlling every city block and staging turf wars.
Catching a stray bullet is not all that uncommon of an occurrence. Innocent bystanders have been killed at prayer vigils, sitting in their cars, walking down sidewalks, and more than one child has fallen victim at a city park playground.
Lionel Irving Jr. has lived in Portland his entire life. He volunteers his time with an obviously unsuccessful gang outreach group. “People should be leery because this is a dangerous time,” he said.
Staffing and equipment shortages brought about by immense budget cuts have rendered Portland’s police department helpless. Though the department is still trying its best it’s had to resort to ridiculous measures.
The first thing the police department did was to suspend all of its traffic cops to better focus on the rise in violent crimes. Then they put up traffic barrels to slow cars down in hopes of reducing driveby shootings since it would be harder to make a speedy getaway.
Don Osborne, Vasquez’s brother-in-law, got straight to the point. “Let’s please untie the hands of our law enforcement officers. I believe if the proper tools were in place for our law enforcement officers this wouldn’t even have happened,” he said.
Just this year, of the over 1,000 reported shootings, 314 of Portlands residents have caught a stray bullet. Police say the bulk of the shootings have been gang-related.
Nine-year-old Hadar Kedem had been playing in a city park with her dad, brother, and the family dog when men wearing ski masks opened fire on each other. As the family dove to the ground behind a metal bin, a stray bullet hit just beside her feet.
Realizing how close she had come to becoming yet another fatality, the fourth-grader attended a Portland city council meeting where she stood and revealed the trauma she and her family had endured.
“I know that not only do I want [sic] change, but everyone wants change,” she told her audience. “I want to feel safe.”
If only Portland’s adult population would pay better attention to the kids who never know when they’ll take their final slide down a park board, they might just learn a thing or two. Peace and love is a great vision to have, but it’s an unattainable illusion without the help of law enforcement to make it happen. Facts are facts and the proof is in Portland’s pudding.