Hatfield Fed. Courthouse
© AP/www.usnews
In this July 2, 2020 photo released by the U.S. Attorney Office in Oregon and taken from security cameras, officers with the Federal Protective Service can be seen, top right, holding their shields up and guarding the doorway of the Hatfield Federal Courthouse after the glass door shattered.
Portland police officials are investigating the highest number of homicides over the course of a single month in more than three decades.

There were 63 shootings and 15 homicides in Portland in the month of July, according to Oregon Live, which police say is more killings than they've dealt with in one month for more than 30 years. "That's very concerning, to know that that many people have been killed in such a short period of time," Portland Police Department Chief Chuck Lovell told reporters.

The deaths and gun violence come amid the repeated nights of violence and riots that have plagued the city since George Floyd's death on Memorial Day.

Overall, 24 people have died in homicides in Portland since the beginning of 2020, with the most recent occurring just last Tuesday when a 34-year-old woman was stabbed to death after attending a vigil for a 27-year-old who was shot and killed in the city. Lovell said he would assign officers to the detective division to work on the homicide investigations.

The spike in July murders comes after Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced the disbandment of the police department's Gun Violence Reduction Team in an effort to address police reform.
"We need to fundamentally change the police bureau and how we interact with police in our daily lives.

"I am hearing loudly and clearly from demonstrators that they want fundamental reform. I am hearing loudly and clearly from demonstrators that they want us to completely reimagine the way that we think about public safety in our community. And I believe these reforms, combined with the resources that I've proposed we send out into the community, I believe those things work together to live up to the promise of that reimagination."
The Portland Police Association president, however, denounced the city's disbandment of the team as a "knee-jerk reaction" to protesters demanding that police forces be defunded. Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner said of the team's disbandment:
"If this is police reform, we're going in the wrong direction. Obviously we want to serve and protect the citizens of Portland, but this isn't the way. This isn't what Portlanders deserve. We need to sit down, we need to have those conversations, but the knee-jerk reaction to what's happening in the protests is not the answer. Everything needs to be thoughtful, it needs to be thought out, it needs to be better. We will be paying for this for years to come"
Other cities have also reported skyrocketing data on shootings, including in New York City, where there have been more cases of gun violence in 2020 than in all of 2019. Joseph Giacalone, a retired New York City Police Department sergeant, said:
"It only gets worse from here. As the shootings continue, so will retaliation. It's a vicious cycle that the NYPD worked hard to mitigate, but that they are no longer able and in some cases willing to do."