From shootings to sexual assault, Black individuals are vastly overrepresented as victims of violent crime—and that’s simply crime that will get reported.
Portland Police Bureau knowledge exhibits Black individuals made up 16.4% of town’s violent crime victims in 2017. Black Portlanders make up 5.7% of town’s inhabitants. Black individuals and Native Individuals are the one racial teams considerably overrepresented as victims of violent crime. The victimization price for white individuals was 66.3%, however they make up 71% of town’s inhabitants.
Whereas these numbers present a transparent disparity in who turns into a sufferer of crime, they most likely don’t present the total image.
A examine final yr by the Portland nonprofit Partnership for Security & Justice surveyed 40 individuals of coloration who had survived violent crimes—and located 75% of them didn’t report the incident as a result of they feared in search of assist would result in additional hurt. As a consequence, they didn’t get the identical alternative to heal.
“I didn’t name the police when my very own home violence was occurring,” stated one survey respondent, “as a result of, if you’re going by way of diversion and you’ve got police contact, that may be thought-about a bench probation violation. If I known as the police, as an alternative of listening to me, I felt that the very first thing they’d see is ‘probation’ moderately than what I used to be truly going by way of. I don’t need my household separated. I didn’t need my children to be within the system. And I didn’t need to go to jail for reporting. I simply felt like I wouldn’t be heard.”
The report additionally famous a nationwide survey that discovered solely 36% of Black Individuals belief their native police very a lot versus 77% of white Individuals who belief regulation enforcement.
Úmi Vera, interim program director at Portland United In opposition to Hate, says individuals of coloration sometimes report hate crimes to the police. PUAH obtained 351 stories of hate crimes final yr within the Portland metro space. Solely 19% of these crimes had been additionally reported to regulation enforcement.
Another excuse crimes go underreported, Vera says, is as a result of regulation enforcement officers are sometimes the alleged perpetrators of crimes themselves. Extra particularly, 24% of hate incidents reported to Portland United In opposition to Hate final yr recognized a police officer because the perpetrator.
“So right here you’ve got of us experiencing racism of all types, together with hate and hate crimes,” Vera says, “and on prime of that, we all know regulation enforcement are additionally perpetrators of hate.”
Though PUAH focuses on hate incidents particularly, it exhibits how individuals of coloration and Black individuals face an added sort of violence of their each day lives.
“It has develop into a legacy of how we’ve survived as communities of coloration,” Vera says. “As of us of coloration, we’ve identified that we’ve been surviving this type of hate, and this has been the truth of our lives, however now we get to mobilize and strategy elected officers to search out options for what we’ve been monitoring.”
Vera says Oregon’s racist historical past contributes to the violence Black individuals expertise. One distressing legacy of that historical past: Many survivors interviewed by the Partnership for Security and Justice noticed their ache as one thing to be anticipated.
“When shit occurs to you, it’s like regular,” stated one particular person surveyed final yr. “That is what occurred to us. That is what occurred to our dad and mom. That is what occurred to their dad and mom. That is the way in which shit was arrange for us.”
This reporting has been funded partly by a grant from the Jackson Basis. See extra Black and White in Oregon tales here.