Violence continues to rise in some of the United States’ largest cities while pledges and calls to defund or cut the police department budgets become louder. In the last few months, cities such as New York City, Chicago, Portland, Minneapolis, and Houston all saw an uptick in violence, murders, and domestic abuse cases.
New York City
According to the New York Post, the city suffered another bout of “astronomical” violence after over 17 people were shot in multiple boroughs Monday.
“Those numbers would be high for a Friday or Saturday, but for a Monday they are astronomical,” one Brooklyn cop told the New York Post.
Police responded to calls of shootings, including some fatal, in Canarsie, Manhattan, Brooklyn neighborhoods over the course of the weekend well into Monday night. One of the victims, a 17-year-old who was struck in the head by a bullet, is still “clinging to life.”
Meanwhile, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio recently pledged to cut the New York City Police Department’s budget.
“The details will be worked out in the budget process in the weeks ahead,” de Blasio said. “But I want people to understand that we are committed to shifting resources to ensure that the focus is on our young people.”
Shootings claimed the lives of at least 11 people and injured over 64 as the summer violence levels continue to rise in Chicago. According to ABC 7 News, at least six of those injured were teenagers. One 15-year-old was also fatally shot over the weekend.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said the Chicago Police Department is taking extra measures to address the recent violence by adding at least 66 officers to the “summer mobile patrol unit” to increase police presence and build relationships with the community.
“We will be deploying our resources around historical data, where violence has occurred the last few weekends and historically over the last couple years, but we will be partnering with the community,” Brown told ABC 7 News.
According to Fox 12 News, Portland has also had a recent uptick in violence as the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) began investigating at least 4 homicides in three days over the last week.
Earlier in the month, the PPB reported a 240 percent increase in shootings in the city since July 2019.
“Gun violence negatively impacts everyone in our community and the increase we are seeing is alarming,” said Chief Chuck Lovell. “[Portland Police Bureau] continues to investigate these crimes and we ask for the public’s help with tips and leads.”
Portland was one of the many cities that pledged to cut its funding of police departments in light of George Floyd’s death and “Defund the Police” campaigns circulated. According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Portland city council approved a $15 million cut to the PPB’s budget and may consider more due to public pressure.
At least 8 were injured and one was dead after a string of shootings on Friday night in Minneapolis. According to WCCO 4 CBS, this comes just a few days after another deadly night in Minneapolis with two dead and at least five injured.
“Embrace the sanctity of life,” officer Garrett Parten, a spokesman for Minneapolis police told WCCO 4 CBS. “Certainly, we as officers and the police department will do everything we can in investigating and doing what we can to prevent.”
Minneapolis was one of the first cities to unanimously pass a resolution calling for a removal and replacement of the Minneapolis Police Department. The Minneapolis City Council passed the resolution with “the intent to create a transformative new model for cultivating safety in our city.”
According to KPRC 2, at least fatal domestic violence incidents happened over the last three days in the city. In addition to shootings related to domestic violence, the Houston Police Department also reports there is a 37 percent increase in murders in the area since last year.
“We know there’s been a lot of uptick in violence in terms of the drug trafficking and murders related to drug trafficking and the drug market,” Houston Chief of Police Art Acevedo said.