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actions & protests | police / legal

Why damage police property? Exploring some of the recent activities going on around PDX

Q: I don't understand why angry people would damage police property. I heard that the Portland Police Union headquarters was recently vandalized, and there was $20,000 dollars worth of damage. I can see why people might be mad about police conduct, but this ultimately just hurts me, the taxpayer. So why did it happen?

A: $20,000 is just not that much money when you think about how many taxpayers there actually are. The expense from this damage probably translates to less than a penny for individual taxpayers. Now $4,559,146.62 on the other hand is a significant sum. That's how much of taxpayers money has been payed out in recent years by the City of Portland in Police Incident settlements, meaning settlements to people wronged by police misconduct: things like excessive force, wrongful arrest, wrongful use of force leading to death, etc. If there's anything taxpayers should feel justified in resenting, it's that police violence is costing us this much money...
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