Portland gun crime prosecutions rise dramatically as violence surges

A new tool from the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office shows what many community leaders and law enforcement officials have been saying for the last two years: Gun violence in Portland is rising sharply and disproportionately affecting people of color.

The Firearms Data Dashboard, unveiled Thursday, tracks a dramatic increase in gun violence prosecutions over the last three years. In 2019, prosecutors filed charges in 109 cases, an average of nine per month. That number more than doubled to 281 cases last year, a 158% increase, for an average of 23 per month. This year continued that upward trend with charges filed in 285 gun crime cases through August, an average of 35 per month.

Portland has seen more than 840 shootings through the month of August, according to police records, and the city has already recorded more homicides this year than any other year since 1987, when 70 people died in homicides.

District Attorney Mike Schmidt’s office debuted the dashboard saying it will allow the public to view all gun crime prosecutions by the office for the last three years. The dashboard is searchable by date, location and race and gender of both victims and alleged perpetrators.

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