The Portland Police Bureau spent millions on overtime over the span of just two months as a result of the nightly riots in the city — a stark irony given the protesters’ demands to defund the police.
The Portland Police Bureau spent $6.9 million on overtime in June and July alone, representing a “200% increase in overtime spending compared to that same time period last year when police spent $2.3 million,” KATU News found.
The consecutive protests started after the May 25 death of George Floyd and have continued on a nightly basis. Authorities in Portland arrested 59 people as a result of Saturday night’s violent protest alone. At this point in time, the amount spent on overtime likely exceeds $7 million, given that it does not include August’s overtime data, which KATU reported has “yet to be provided”:
The sharp uptick in overtime spending during June and July account for more than half of what police had spent on overtime throughout all of 2020. From January through the end of July, PPB spent $11.4 million on OT. Last year, through mid-July, police had spent $7.7 million.
KATU News asked PPB multiple times last week for comment, hoping to find out how the city can keep up these overtime costs but never heard back. On Monday, a PPB spokesperson cited Labor Day as the reason for not providing comment.
Over the summer, the Portland City Council voted to defund the police department by $15 million, although it fell short of the $50 million demanded by activists. The police bureau eliminated its Gun Violence Reduction Team at the direction of the city council — a move that coincided with “the highest number of murders in one month than has been seen in over 30 years,” as Breitbart News reported. Fifteen murders occurred in Portland in July 2020 following the July 1 elimination of the Gun Violence Reduction Team. Portland also saw 63 shootings in July, up from the 28 seen in July 2019.
While Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden (D) denies that he supports defunding the police, he seeks to “re-direct” police funding, which essentially has the same effect. Additionally, his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), has encouraged voters to donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF), which openly supports defunding the police:
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 1, 2020