Are police in the Pacific Northwest getting a bum rap?
The Portland Oregonian ran a story headlined “New Polling shows most Oregonians support Black Lives Matter, many don’t approve of the job their local police are doing.”
The story’s lead paragraph stresses the negative of a survey done by DHM Research, stating, “Forty-five percent of Oregonians do not approve of the job their local police are doing.”
However, the DHM website instead says this: “55% of Oregonians approve of the job performance of their local police.” That’s something of a positive approach to the survey’s findings.
Is this an example of media bias? It could be, because a check of the actual survey results, taken from among 603 Oregon residents by DHM and the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, actually shows that 38 percent disapproved of the way local police were doing their jobs (20% somewhat disapprove, 18% strongly disapprove). The remaining 7 percent were “not sure.”
Two hundred miles north in Seattle—a city like Portland that has been the scene of continued protests against “police brutality” for the past two months—an online petition opposing the defunding of the city’s police department is showing lots of traction.
Or are there two petitions? One may be found at Change.org and the other at “Stop the Defunding of the Seattle Police Department.” The petition at Change.org had garnered more than 16,000 by Wednesday morning. The other site doesn’t provide a count.
The Seattle defunding effort appears to be led, at least in part, by Socialist Councilwoman Kshama Sawant. She has claimed some ownership of the “movement” in Seattle to radically change from a capitalist to a socialist society. She spoke at a rally the other day where reporters for KOMO News, the local ABC affiliate, were blocked by protesters. According to KOMO, “Sawant led protesters with the message to defund the Seattle Police budget by 50 percent for the rest of 2020.”
The KOMO report said anti-police demonstrators want to pare the police budget by $85 million, which Sawant told the crowd is “what we’re fighting for.” It could cost the city hundreds of commissioned police officers at a time when crime appears to be on the rise, including murder. As of July 8, homicide in the city was up 42 percent over the same period last year, according to police department data. There have been at least three slayings since then.
So far, nobody in the local press has asked apparently asked Sawant why she wants to take funds away from the police department.
By no small coincidence, gun sales are going strong these days nationally, and that appears to include Washington State. Talk of reducing police manpower translates to a reduction in public safety to many people, and as a result, more people are considering buying a gun.