The police department in Portland, Oregon, is doing away with its gang member database. They say it's upsetting the black and Hispanic communities.
Portland has a gang problem. A recent report from KGW News made it clear that gangs in the city are nothing new, describing "decades of shootings, tears, retaliation" – and adding that it's not just "a Portland thing," that it spills over into communities like Lake Oswego, Tigard, Vancouver, Salem, and Eugene.
So one would think the city would want to take advantage of every tool in the kit – but it's trashing the police force's gang database.
"There was a realization that it was deteriorating the trust with the members of the community," explains Portland Police public information officer Sgt. Chris Burley. The bulk of the database (81%) comprised ethnic or racial minorities.
"[So] most of the gangs are black and Hispanic," echoes Rick Sutton of Blue Lives Matter. "Sorry, but that's the reality. Sorry that that doesn't fit the political narrative."
Sutton argues the police are throwing away an essential tool to fighting gang violence – basically for "political correctness." But he says the move doesn't actually surprise him, given that Portland's mayor is "radically liberal."
"This is following the Obama administration's playbook," Sutton tells OneNewsNow. "They didn't call prisoners 'prisoners' any longer. Cons weren't 'cons' – they were 'guests of the state' or some nonsense."
The Portland PD says it will continue to treat gang violence like any other crime, and that police work has come a long way since the database was first put into place. But Sutton says in this case it just took one huge step backwards.