In the rush to avoid being racist and bigoted, the liberal city of Portland, Oregon is making a dangerous decision. Police will no longer keep a database of suspected gang members and their current records, kept for the past 20 years, will be deleted. The police bureau has deemed the practice far too racist since the majority of people identified are minorities.
Last year, 81% of the people in Portland’s database were racial or ethnic minorities. Captain Mike Krantz has said that even though they will not track these gang affiliates, “There are still criminal gang members. That doesn’t go away because we don’t have a gang designation. We’re not pretending gang violence doesn’t exist. We’re just taking this one thing away.” They just don’t want the criminals to have to deal with the “unintended consequences and lifelong stigma” of earning a gang member designation.
This is liberal logic at its best. Instead of simply removing people from the list if they are proven to be out of the gang, they are going to just stop tracking gangs altogether. This will make the job of the police, lawyers, and judges even more difficult not to mention the danger it puts residents in.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler applauded the decision. “This is too long coming. It was the right thing to do.” For who exactly, the gang members who will now be able to fly under the radar? It is worth noting that Wheeler is also the city’s police commissioner.
Current policies allow people to be added to the database under the following conditions;
- Self-identifying as a gang member.
- Participation in a gang initiation ritual.
- Committing a gang-related crime.
- Displaying two or more “observable signs” of gang membership.
Now officers will only record alleged criminal behavior such as illegal weapons or involvement in shootings. The bureau has released a statement as to why the database is no longer necessary;
“As times have changed, the Police Bureau in partnership with community members have realized being labeled a “gang member” can have a negative impact on the person who may be making attempts to overcome the life challenges they face.”
Their liberal-speak should be reassuring to no citizen except gang members.