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Portland, Oregon, has seen a “seven-fold” increase in its homicide rate, and more Portland residents have been killed this year than in all of 2019, according to a Monday report in the Seattle Times. The homicide and gun violence rates have gotten so bad that Portland residents held a “March Against Murder” demonstration, “protesting lives lost in a huge escalation of gun violence in Oregon’s largest city,” the outlet said. The city’s murder rate is still low compared to most major cities, but the number of dead is ever-increasing, and most are minority Portland residents. “As of Sunday morning, 37 people had died in Portland homicides this year, a more-than-sevenfold increase compared with the first five months of last year, and a stark contrast to Seattle, a larger city, where 11 homicides had been recorded as of late May,” the Seattle Times noted. The trend is not new. The spike in crime follows the city’s decision to strip funding from its police department and abolish a Portland police unit aimed at reducing gun violence, the Gun Violence Reduction Team, which disappeared last June, after the death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.

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