Since the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, Portland has seen sustained protests against police violence. And in the last week, these protests have seen renewed attention after several outlets reported on the growing concerns of increased police violence against protesters by federal and Portland law enforcement.
As your newsroom covers these demonstrations, below is information about gun violence and shootings by police in Oregon and the US:
- Black Americans are far more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts. Data from Mapping Police Violence shows that 95 percent of people killed by police are killed with guns.
- According to the Mapping Police Violence, Black Americans are shot and killed by police at nearly three times the rate of white Americans, with Hispanic Americans following close behind. In Oregon, more than 100 people have been killed by on-duty police since 2013.
- As a whole, gun violence takes a disproportionate toll on Black and brown communities. Black Americans represent the majority of homicide and nonfatal shooting victims in the U.S. and are far more likely than white Americans to be victimized by and exposed to assaultive gun violence.
- On average, 500 people die by guns in Oregon each year. An average of 86 Oregonians are killed in gun homicides each year, and Black people are five times more likely to be the victims of those gun homicides than their white peers.
Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action advocate for meaningful use-of-force policies that would help reduce police violence. Research finds that encouraging de-escalation, utilizing early intervention systems, and ensuring that officers who act in a manner that is criminally negligent can be held accountable, use-of-force policies can ensure that laws help advance safety and promote trust in the police.
To speak with a Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action volunteer about police violence and gun safety solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out.