Skip to Content

African-American gangs in Oregon

Not enough white gangs? Portland police delists gang members

Portland police will no longer maintain a database of suspected African-American gang members, because the vast majority of gang criminals are black or members of other racial minorities.

Published: September 12, 2017, 9:56 am

    Portland, Oregon

    Officials intend to notify the approximately 300 people on the gang list that the bureau will purge all records related to the designations, The Oregonian reported.

    Of the 359 “criminal gang affiliates” flagged in Portland’s database as of August, 81 percent were part of a racial or ethnic minority, an analysis by The Oregonian/OregonLive shows. By far the largest block, 64 percent, was black, compared with just 7.5 percent of the city’s population who are black or mixed-race.

    As from 15 October this year, the Portland Police Bureau will end the 20-year practice of listing gang members, because police say it could lead to “unintended consequences” and “stigma”.

    “There are still criminal gang members. That doesn’t go away because we don’t have a gang designation,” Capt. Mike Krantz, told The Oregonian. “We’re not pretending gang violence doesn’t exist. We’re just taking this one thing away.”

    Gang officers say the demographics of the list simply reflect the people involved in gang shootings and other crimes.

    Leftist activists had long urged the police to stop attaching a gang designation to criminal suspects, claiming the practice disproportionately impacted African-Americans. A review of police data by The Oregonian last year found that 81 percent of the “criminal gang affiliates” in Portland’s database were from an ethnic minority.

    Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who is also the city’s police commissioner, said: “This is too long coming. It was the right thing to do.”

    Until now police officers could list a person on the gang database if the person self-identified as a gang member, participated in a gang initiation ritual, commited a gang-related crime or displayed two or more “observable signs” of gang membership. Neither a criminal conviction nor an arrest was required to list a suspect to gang membership, but the knowledge had been vital to police work.

    Portland police label some 100 people as gang members each year, according to The Oregonian. on the database, the name of a flagged gang member, will show up in a special report that includes any known information about nicknames, employers, schools, vehicles and associates.

    Officers will no longer be keeping such information, says Krantz. Instead, they will record only alleged serious criminal conduct. “As times have changed, the Police Bureau in partnership with community members have realized being labeled a “gang member” can have a negative impact on the person who may be making attempts to overcome the life challenges they face,” the bureau said in a statement Friday.

    Police say “new processes and technologies” now allow officers to investigate crimes without knowledge of gang membership, but did not elaborate on these posibilities.

    Portland is the whitest major city in the United States, and has become even whiter. Of 354 census tracts in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties, 40 became whiter from 2000 to 2010, according to The Oregonian’s analysis of the 2010 Census.

    The city did not become whiter simply because lots of white residents moved in, the data showed. Some 10 000 people, mostly African Americans, also moved out.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • PacificaRose

      Crime is the new minority entitlement.

    Americas

    ‘US may be wrong on number of Russian nuclear warheads’

    US calculations of the number of nuclear warheads stored in Russia may be wrong by an order of thousands, said former Secretary of Defense William Perry. Washington does not have accurate information about it, he says.

    US House votes bill against military action against Iran

    WashingtonLast month the US House of Representatives voted unanimously for an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 5515) that says no statute authorizes the use of military force against Iran.

    Tech billionaire’s wife on a crusade against white men

    Melinda Gates, the wife of the American co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, one of the richest spouses in the world, is on a crusade against white men.

    Majority of US foreign ‘train and equip’ projects a failure

    America's efforts to train soldiers in other parts of the world where they have committed their own treasure, are not going too well. The majority of these Global Train and Equip projects are failures.

    US Conservative pundit blasts Trump’s Iran obsession as tensions escalate

    Conservative American pundit Ann Coulter has blasted President Donald Trump for treating Iran as an existential threat to the United States.

    Chaos as ‘Caravan’ of illegals reach US from Mexico

    As illegal immigrants gathered at the US border to begin scaling the San Diego "wall", they shouted "Gracias, México!", thanking the Mexican government for allowing them to travel from Central America to the US border.

    Trump advisor Bolton coordinated US strike on Syria with Israel

    WashingtonIsraeli media reported that John Bolton spoke with his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben Shabbat, to coordinate the US-led attack on Syria early on Saturday morning.

    Trump vows to bomb Syria – Russia threatens retaliation

    In a tweet today, United States President Donald Trump said that Russia vows to shoot down missiles targeting Syria and comments: “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming”. Military experts now talk about a situation more explosive than the Cuban Crisis of 1962. The geopolitical analyst Manuel Ochsenreiter tells FWM that the harsh rhetoric in any case has destroyed the diplomatic mechanisms that helped prevent escalation during the Cold War.

    Trump calls Black Caucus member ‘low-IQ individual’

    President Trump has described a Congressional Black Caucus member as a "low-IQ individual". The US president spoke at a campaign rally for Pennsylvania special House election candidate Rick Saccone.

    Half of new Democratic hopefuls are former CIA or other operatives

    WashingtonThe Democratic Party in the United States is looking to capture a majority in the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections. But as many as half of their new representatives will be former CIA and other intelligence operatives.

    Go to archive