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Joint Statement from City Council Addressing Imminent Gun Violence

Press Release
Commissioners Hardesty, Mapps, Rubio, Ryan and Mayor Ted Wheeler release joint statement addressing an anticipated uptick in gun violence in Portland

Gun violence in Portland transcends race, socio-economic status, and geography, and City leadership is committing to building a community where everyone feels safe. 

In Gresham last month, seven people were shot at a vigil for a gun violence victim.  There are several vigils and funerals planned in Portland in the coming days and these vigils are credible targets for further violence. Our goal is to deescalate and lower the tensions in the community that are fueling this crisis. 

The City recently learned three alarming things: 

  1. Groups involved in this violence have issued an order to shoot someone in the next 30 days or be shot for not showing loyalty. 
  2. Individuals and groups are here in Portland from Washington and California to engage in and advance gun violence.  
  3. These actions begin a retaliatory cycle that only escalates. The current trajectory of the rising violence is unacceptable, and it requires immediate action.  

This weekend (May 15-16), investigators with the Portland Police Bureau’s Enhanced Community Safety Team are on duty and in uniform, and working with partners at the FBI. Their high visibility presence in the community is intended to deter anyone considering committing criminal acts. They’ll also provide a quick response to any shootings that do happen, gather information, witness statements, and evidence, and immediately follow-up on leads. Crime Prevention Outreach workers from Office of Violence Prevention will also be in the community where needed to provide support and ease tensions. 

We have authorized the Community Safety Director Mike Myers to lead this effort with community partners, and we thank him for his work.