PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Detailed information about gun-related cases prosecuted by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is now online.
A Firearms Data Dashboard went live on the district attorney’s office’s website on Thursday, Sept. 16. It is searchable by date, location, race and gender of both victims and perpetrators and type of crime committed. Search options can be displayed on an interactive map.
“The Schmidt administration has been vocal in its prioritization of gun violence and data transparency. The Firearms Dashboard marries these efforts to effect change by providing leaders with a deep catalogue of data to shape policy and identify the communities most impacted by gun violence,” the district attorney’s office said when it announced the Dashboard.
Among other things, the Dashboard shows that 51 cases were prosecuted in 2019, 152 cases were prosecuted in 2020, and 285 cases have been prosecuted by Aug. 13, 2021. Victims and perpetrators are disproportionately young, male, and members of communities of color. Most shootings happened in East Multnomah County.
“Black, Brown and Immigrant communities are disproportionately impacted by gun violence. This is a deadly symptom of systemic racism and disinvestment, exacerbated by the global pandemic which has hollowed out our schools, limited the activities of our crucial community based organizations and shuttered other critical services that our communities depend on. I appreciate DAÂ Schmidt’s efforts to name this problem head on with data. Now, we must get to work,” Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal said in the announcement.
The announcement also noted that gun sales in the United States went up by 65% in 2020 compared to the previous year, a trend that has continued in 2021 “The increase in gun purchases has closely tracked an increase in gun related violence, both in the Portland metro area and nationally,” it said.
“Gun violence has only continued to rise in our nation during the pandemic. We have seen this in our state, but this Firearms Data Dashboard is more than just numbers and data. This tool also will help us remember that these are people who have been taken by this senseless public health crisis. This dashboard allows everyone from community members to lawmakers to see not only how gun crime affects our communities and families, but how these numbers continue to rise. We are grateful to District Attorney Mike Schmidt for his leadership in bringing this important tool to the public,” said Rachel Saslow, a volunteer with the Oregon Moms Demand Action advocacy organization.
The announcement was made during a surge in shootings. The Portland Police Bureau has reported 367 shootings so far this year compared to 178 in 2020 and 109 in 2019.
The Firearms Data Dashboard includes adult-court cases that involve a firearm, regardless of how it was used. It does not include unsolved shooting incidents, cases still under police investigation and not yet submitted for prosecution, or cases submitted for prosecution and rejected by the district attorney’s office.
The Firearms Data Dashboard can be found here.