In wake of increasing criticism Multnomah Co. DA aims to educate public on their work
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - In the wake of increasing criticism surrounding rampant property destruction, historic homicides, and violent crimes in Portland, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt’s office announced it’s launching a campaign aimed at educating the public about the work being done by his office.
The DA’s office announced on Tuesday that they would be releasing a series of videos over the next several months aimed at helping to “increase awareness” about their work.
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The videos will reportedly highlight different topics of interest regarding public safety.
A group called People for Portland bought a billboard earlier this month in the heart of Portland calling out DA Schmidt for perceived wrongs. Including his apparent soft approach to crime.
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The large billboard looks down over the Morrison Bridge and features a large picture of Schmidt. It reads in large block letters “PORTLAND IS A SCHMIDT SHOW! - DEMAND ACTION NOW”
The billboard blames Schmidt for record crime in the area related to fewer prosecutions.
The first video in the series is about the prosecution of property crimes in Multnomah County.
“I know that the work of my office is of interest to many Multnomah County community members, and that community safety is a top concern for all of us,” said DA Schmidt. “These videos will help familiarize our community members with the work of my office and give people information and facts to better understand our public safety system.”
In the first video, Senior Deputy District Attorney J.R. Ujifusa covered the topic of property crime prosecution and explains the requirements to prosecute certain property crimes.
In the video, Ujifusa gives numbers that make it seem as though the DA’s office is prosecuting more cases than they were before the pandemic.
A spokesperson for the DA’s office told FOX 12 that most of the cases their office declines to prosecute are due to insufficient evidence.
The top reasons for declining prosecutions were provided, as follows:
- Insufficient Evidence as a Whole – 35%
- Insufficient Evidence without Victim Participation – 23%
- Follow-up Necessary & Requested – 16%
FOX 12 asked the DA for more data to back up these claims and they provided the following:
Property Crime Data
Motor vehicle thefts
Vandalism [Criminal Mischief I, II and III]
Referred cases refer to the number of cases that police give to the DA’s office.
The numbers are interesting overall. One thing that sticks out is it appears thefts were down significantly from 2018 to 2022.
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