Portland police say there were 15 homicides in the month of July — the most killings in a one-month period since the 1980s — and 63 shootings, the Oregonian reports.
The number includes two people killed this week at vigils held for other victims. The news comes as protests continued for a 66th straight night Saturday over police violence.
“That’s very concerning to know that that many people have been killed in such a short period of time,” Chief Chuck Lovell said according to KATU2. “These numbers were not acceptable.”
Shootings were up each of the last three months, too. Police answered calls for 167 shootings in May, June and July, compared to 96 in the same time frame last year.
“Our job, number one for us, is public safety and preservation of life. So we are, we’re going to resource some more people to the detective division to help follow up and do some investigation on those,” Lovell said. “It’s incumbent upon us as public safety professionals and police officers to go out and still do that work.”
Lovell said the recent disbanding of the gun violence reduction team has made things more difficult.
“What was really lost was the follow-up piece, picking up video, contacting people,” Lovell said.
The Trump administration last month sent in federal tactical teams to Portland, which for weeks has been the site of violent clashes between officers and protesters.
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