The Portland Police Department spent $12.4 million taxpayer dollars over a year of violent riots and demonstrations, according to the National Review.
Over half of the money spent was used in the first month of riots, with $5.5 million spent responding to protests after July 1, 2020, according to the report. Most of the money went toward pay officers for overtime hours but some was used to purchase supplies, equipment, gas and food, according to the National Review.
While the police killing of George Floyd sparked nationwide ongoing protests and riots, Portland became a hotspot for demonstrators both peaceful and violent. Rioters destroyed property, looted stores and attacked the federal courthouse on New Year’s Eve with “Molotov cocktail-style firebombs.”
These began on May 29, 2020 following the police killing of George Floyd. This was the first of 35 similar riots during that time, according to the National Review. There were also 145 gatherings and demonstrations during that time and 1,007 arrests, according to the report.
A demonstrator burns an American flag outside the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse late Friday night during the protest on July 31, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by ALISHA JUCEVIC/AFP via Getty Images)
Portland saw riots and demonstrations almost daily for several summer months.
Since January 2021, Portland police have reported more than one mass demonstration of 50 people or more per week, according to the National Review. Five of these were declared riots. Protesters again started fires and damaged property. Officers were reportedly targeted with rocks, cans, eggs, firebombs, mortars and fireworks. (RELATED: Portland Police Say They Were Pulled Away From Other Emergency Calls Due To Riots)
The Portland City Council granted $250,000 to small businesses to help with damage caused by rioters — this on top of the $720,000 it had already given to businesses to help with repairs.
A survey conducted by The Oregonian and Oregon Live found that 75% of Portland residents disapprove of the “defund the police” movement, a policy that is widely associated with the social justice protests