As violence surges, some question Portland axing police unit

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland, Oregon, last year dissolved a special police unit designed to focus on gun violence during the national reckoning over racial injustice. Critics say the squad unfairly targeted Black people and urged resources be redirected elsewhere. But gun violence and homicides have since spiked in the liberal city like they have in other places nationwide, and some say disbanding the unit was a mistake. Shootings also have overwhelmingly affected the Black community. But officials attribute a rise in gun violence in U.S. cities to the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment, economic anxiety and stress on mental health.