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Fatal Portland Shootings A Reminder That Gun Violence – Which is Up Significantly in Portland this Month – Continues to Impact Black and Brown Oregonians at Disproportionate Levels

July 14, 2020

Last Thursday, a Black man, whose family has identified him on social media as Dominique Dunn, was shot and killed in the parking lot by a man who ambushed Dunn and his group of friends while they were in a car. On Friday, Shai-India Harris, an 18-year-old Black woman was shot and killed in broad daylight in the Lents neighborhood in Portland. And later that night, police were investigating the shooting death of Julian Heredia in Southeast Portland. According to KGW8, all three homicides took place within 24 hours of each other within the city of Portland. According to reports, Heredia’s death marked the 31st shooting in Portland just this month, indicating a 240% increase in July shootings, compared to 2019

As a whole, gun violence takes a disproportionate toll on Black and brown communities in the United States. Black Americans represent the majority of homicide and nonfatal shooting victims in the U.S. and are far more likely than white Americans to be victimized by and exposed to assaultive gun violence.

On average, more than 500 people die by guns in Oregon each year, and Black people are five times as likely to die by gun homicide than their white peers. Between 2014 to 2018, an average of 72 Oregonians were shot and killed – of those killed, 14% were Hispanic and 11.9% were Black. Multnomah County, in particular, where Portland is located, has a rate of 9.1 gun deaths per 100,000 people.

More information on gun violence in Oregon is available here, and information on how Oregon’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here

To speak with a Moms Demand Action volunteer about gun safety solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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