In a twist of irony, the endless rioting in Portland calling for the police to be defunded and abolished has ended up costing taxpayers more. The city has now had to cough up an extra $6.9 million to pay for police overtime.
According to data obtained by local news network KATU, from June to July, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) spent over $6.9 million in overtime alone. This represents a 200 percent increase in overtime spending compared to the same period last year when the PPB only spent around $2.3 million. This data is also incomplete, as it does not take into account how much the city paid the bureau in overtime fees during the whole month of August.
Furthermore, if local and state public officials continue to refuse to treat rioters with a heavy hand, there’s no telling when the civil unrest in Portland will end. Thus it can be easily assumed that the overtime costs have gone well above $7 million and will likely continue increasing.
From January up to the end of July, the PPB spent $11.4 million on overtime. This means that, before the rioting started, the PPB was only spending around $900,000 per month on overtime costs, but these fees suddenly ballooned come June to around $3.45 million per month.
Last year, from January up through mid-July, the PPB only spent $7.7 million. This, however, is not the only thing that the PPB has had to spend on thanks to the relentless rioting facilitated by Antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement.
In early June alone, the PPB had to spend nearly $50,000 on crowd control munitions like tear gas and pepper spray. By mid-June, they spent over $20,000 to replenish their supplies of the same items.
The PPB also had to spend a lot of taxpayer money on fencing. Around $35,000 was spent on fencing to surround public buildings at Chapman and Lownsdale squares in the city’s downtown neighborhood. These are where Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters have spent almost every night since the start of the engineered civil unrest attacking local and federal government buildings. Also, more than $20,000 of what the PPB spent was for damages and lost equipment.
Meanwhile, in early June, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office also spent over $30,000 to erect wooden fencing to surround and protect Portland City Hall
Riots and demonstrations all over the country costing taxpayers millions in police overtime
During the first 12 days of demonstrations in Seattle, right up to around the time the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone was established, the city of Seattle paid its police department $6.3 million in overtime. In Los Angeles, George Floyd riots that occurred up to mid-June helped the Los Angeles Police Department get paid $40 million, which the city says they will be giving to the officers in the form of paid time off. In New York, just two weeks of rioting cost the city’s taxpayers over $115 million in overtime fees for the New York Police Department.
This is happening all across the country. In Boston, Massachusetts, “defund the police” demonstrations between May to July helped Boston police officers get paid nearly $5.8 million in overtime pay. In Phoenix, Arizona, 30 days of demonstrations cost the city over $7.24 million in overtime pay for the city’s police. In Philadelphia, just under one month of rioting cost taxpayers $18 million in overtime.
Oregonians united in disapproval of Antifa, BLM riots in Portland
It turns out, the actions of Antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement in Portland are not popular among residents, many of whom feel that the PPB needs to step up and use a lot more force to decisively end the conflict in their city. This revelation was brought to the public thanks to a poll conducted by Portland-based research company DHM Research.
These findings come just hours after Mayor Wheeler announced that he was banning the PPB from using CS gas, a “particularly toxic form of tear gas,” after the city was bombarded with lawsuits by Antifa- and Black Lives Matter-affiliated people who want to make it more difficult for the PPB to disperse rioters. (Related: Cotton, Loeffler introduce trio of Senate bills to crack down on rioters.)
The poll was answered by 502 likely voters. It was conducted from September 3 to 8 and nearly half of the participants lived in the tri-county area that includes Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties. Around a quarter of the other participants live somewhere else along the Willamette Valley, and the rest are from other parts of Oregon.
According to the poll, over one-third of the respondents feel that the rioting in Portland is the most important issue for them, more important than the economy, healthcare, racism, policing, and the ongoing pandemic.
Sixty-six percent of survey participants disapproved of the rioting in Portland, and they feel like it has been very harmful to Black Portlanders, race relations as well as to legitimate, peaceful efforts to pass meaningful police reform. Just 28 percent said they believe the riots have been helpful to Black Portlanders.
Around 56 percent of those surveyed believe that the riots were mostly violent. Thirty-six percent said they were mostly peaceful and seven percent were unsure. Fifty-five percent said that “riot” more accurately described the events in Portland, while 37 percent said “protest.”
Forty-two percent said that the PPB did not use enough force in their response to the rioters. Another 18 percent said the amount of force used was just right, while 29 percent said it was too much and 11 percent were unsure.
Finally, the survey also found that a majority of Oregonians disapprove of the actions taken by Mayor Wheeler and Gov. Kate Brown, another Democrat, in response to the riots. For Brown, 39 percent strongly disagreed while another 17 percent somewhat disagreed with her actions. Wheeler’s disapproval rate is slightly larger, as 44 percent strongly disagree and 14 percent somewhat disagree with his actions.
The results of the poll are very surprising given that a plurality of the respondents – 39 percent – identified as Democrats, while only 28 percent identified as Republicans. Ten percent were registered with a third party, while 20 percent were independents. This shows that the light-handed approach that the state Democratic Party has been taking against Antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement is not resonating with likely voters.
Learn more about how popular or unpopular the responses of local and state governments have been to the rioting by reading the latest articles regarding demonstrations in cities like Portland, Seattle and Kenosha at Rioting.news.