It was a last minute decision for him Jacob Eli Knight Basque go on a Friday night for a drink opposite the tavern where he worked in northwest Portland – an area where locals enjoy restaurants that stay open until the wee hours of the morning, international cuisine and cozy cafes.
The 34-year-old was at the bar just a short time later when shots were heard. THE Βασσκες was hit by a stray bullet and died on the spot.
His murder in late September was one of 67 homicides this year in Portland – a city that is moving fast to break the previous record of 70 murders in 1987.
Fear and frustration with gang violence have prevailed in the metropolis, as have stories like those of Bats make some skeptics go out at night. The death toll from crossfire has risen in recent years. People who mourn in vigils, or sit in their car, even children playing in a park, are lost unnecessarily.
“People need to be cool because this is a dangerous time,” he said Lionel Irving Jr., a lifelong resident of Portland.
Lack of staff and cuts
His police station Portland finds it difficult to cope amid severe staff shortages and budget cuts. Now, its the largest city Oregon implements new solutions aimed at improving safety, including the addition of traffic barrels to make it more difficult for someone to drive and shoot at the same time, but also to reduce the chances of someone committing a crime and being able to escape quickly .
But critics say his liberal northwestern city Pacific, home to more than 650,000 people, is collapsing.
“Let’s untie the hands of our police,” said his brother-in-law Βασσκες, Don Osborne, outside the operation where he was killed Baskς. “I believe that if there were the right tools for our police, this would not have happened.”
So far this year, the Portland had about 1,000 shots fired, 314 people wounded by bullets and firearms accounted for three-quarters of all homicides. Police attribute much of the shootings to gangs, clashes and killings in retaliation, paid for by innocent people.
The nine-year-old Hadar Kedem found himself in the middle of a fire earlier this year.
THE Handar playing with her father, her brother and her dog in a park in the northeast Portland, when a group of people with ski masks started shooting. THE Handar and her family ran for protection behind a metal bucket. A bullet landed a few meters away from it.
“I know not only do I want change, but everyone wants change,” she said Handar during a Municipal Council meeting last month. “I want to feel safe.”
The sad statistics
Nationwide, homicides increased by almost 30% from 2019 to 2020, according to FBI. However, in Portland, lethal violence is growing faster than almost all major cities, with an 83% increase in homicides by 2020.
The Portland has seen more homicides in 2021 than some major cities, including San Francisco and double murders by his biggest neighbor, the Seattle. Other severely affected western cities include the metro area in Albuquerque of New Mexico, which has about 679,000 inhabitants and has recorded a record 97 homicides this year.
His police Portland fights to suppress the violence with a force of 128 officers. As of August 2020, about 200 officers have left the department. Many, in interviews as they left, cited low morale, lack of support from city officials and exhaustion from months of racial justice protests.
City leaders cut $ 27 million from the police budget last year – $ 11 million due to the financial crisis caused by the pandemic – a decision that the Daryl Turner, executive director of his police union Portland stated that it cost lives.
Officials also disbanded a specialized unit focused on curbing gun violence, which has long been criticized for disproportionately targeting people of color.