In Oregon, There Will Be More Police Shootings In 2022

Police Shootings: Roman Ivan Kokhanevych, 24, allegedly robbed a Gresham bank six days into the year 2022 and led police on a pursuit through Troutdale and Gresham. Kokhanevych allegedly shot numerous times at police and sheriff’s officers during the pursuit.

In Oregon, There Will Be More Police Shootings In 2022

The first of at least 41 persons that Oregon law enforcement will fire at in 2022 was Kokyanevych, who was shot and killed by Gresham police Officer Mark Smith and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Phifer. There were 23 deaths. When Phifer was a Portland police officer in 2018, he was one of seven cops who shot and murdered John Elifritz in a Southeast Portland homeless shelter.

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Eleven months later, during a foot pursuit after the two were accused of attempting to carjack a lady, Salem Police Cpl. Joshua Buker fired at Vincent Nesbitt and Daren Shelton-Olson, both 19-year-olds, but missed them. Shelton-Olson and Nesbitt were both detained and charged.

According to police watchdog Portland Copwatch, the event was the 38th time that Oregon law enforcement had fired at someone this year, shattering the previous record established in 2018 when police shot at 37 individuals.

In 2022, nine persons in Portland were fired at by police, resulting in four fatalities and three injuries. After a vehicle chase that concluded within the city boundaries, a Clackamas County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed the fifth individual in Portland.

While Portland police murdered the same number of individuals as they did last year, there were five more police shootings statewide.

According to statistics gathered by the Washington Post, the record-breaking police violence is consistent with a national pattern. The Post started keeping track of fatal police shootings in 2015, and last year saw 1,055 people murdered by police, which was a record. It predicts that by December 20, 2022, there would have been 1,069 fatal police shootings, breaking yet another record for the country’s law enforcement.

In Oregon, There Will Be More Police Shootings In 2022
In Oregon, There Will Be More Police Shootings In 2022

Countless Shootings

The prevalence of gun violence is high in Oregon. According to the criminal justice statistics company AH Datalytics, the country’s homicide rate may have decreased by as much as 5% in 2022. It may take several years before it is evident if the fall is a statistical anomaly in an otherwise upward track or whether two years of rising homicides are finally levelling out. But in Portland, where killings have obstinately continued to rise, that change wasn’t noticeable.

Portland was one of at least a dozen American cities that saw a record-high number of killings in 2021. While Portland once again established a record, some of those cities had double-digit reductions this year. The city had its 93rd homicide in November after recording at least 92 killings in 2021, breaking the previous record of 70 homicides established in 1987. There have been 1,292 gunshots as of December 29 and 100 murders.

Countless Shootings
Countless Shootings

According to Kris Henning, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Portland State University, “there is a positive association” between a region’s violent crime rate and shootings involving police. In other words, officer-involved shootings are more common in places with greater crime rates.

Henning said that when the number of guns in a neighbourhood increases, so does the number of police shootings.

City officials in Portland have been battling to reduce a homicide rate that increasingly appears untouched by their specialised police units, grant programmes, and neighbourhood engagement.

The contentious Gun Violence Reduction Team was disbanded in June 2020, but by January 2022, the Focused Intervention Team had resumed all of the team’s activities.

In 2022, at least eight of the cops on that team fired three times at distinct targets. Throughout an effort to break the cycle of retaliatory violence, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced a proposal to expand the number of outreach and hospital-based trauma responders deployed in the city at the end of 2020.

Additionally, the Portland Police Bureau has intensified its recruitment efforts. For the first time in a number of months, it said in December that it now has more than 800 sworn members. One homicide will be avoided for every 15 to 20 extra officers in a department, according to some studies. This is unworkable math for a city dealing with a more than twofold rise in killings in a few years.

Brian Renauer Statement

According to Brian Renauer, a professor of criminology at Portland State University, “the long-term preventative strategy really is investing in a good family, strong community, healthy neighbourhoods, excellent schools, and economic possibilities for everybody.” He said that gathering and analysing intelligenceβ€”a task that the police may be well-suited forβ€”is necessary to defuse tensions between competing gangs.

Renauer continued, “It’s not only the cops. The police, in collaboration with community, street, and school outreach workers, are the ones who are familiar with the victims and offenders and are aware of the locations of these conflicts.

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Even if its earlier initiatives are still running and seem to be having little impact, the city keeps putting up fresh initiatives to reduce violence. Wheeler unveiled a new programme in July, this time proclaiming a crisis of gun violence and setting a two-year target of a 10% decline in shootings. The campaign, known as Safer Summer PDX, also featured the Focused Investment Group, a $2.7 million programme charged with engaging at-risk kids, investing in communities, and intervening to “address environmental conditions favourable to gun violence.”

The number of fatalities in Portland has decreased by around 200 since Wheeler’s statement in December 2020.

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