[This year's news cycle was a vicious one, and left little time for reflection. As 2020 nears its end, we're taking the opportunity to look back on the most important Mercury stories written during the past year. This article was originally published on November 16, 2020. We hope you'll consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury to help continue our work into next year and beyond.—eds.]
Portland police have used force—in the form of rubber bullets, baton strikes, tear gas volleys, and other acts—more than 6,000 times against Portlanders protesting police violence and racism this year.
This information comes from two newly-updated reports from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), documenting officer use of force data for the second and third quarters of 2020, a period spanning April 1 and September 30. On Friday, the Mercury shared data from the second quarter report, which found that, in the first 32 days of Portland's protests—which began on May 29—PPB officers used force against protesters 2,378 times. The release of the third quarter's data offers a more comprehensive look at the damage inflicted on Portlanders by police this year through what PPB calls "crowd control." Combined, PPB used force at least 6,249 times against members of the public during 2020's second and third quarters.