Portland police investigators are asking gang members to abandon a code of silence that has kept officers from solving two gang-related homicides from last year and one this year where a host of witnesses likely saw something, reports the Oregonian. Assistant Chief Eric Hendricks cited killings in a park last May 16, across the street from a nightclub last June 26, and on Feb. 19 outside the Grand Central Restaurant and Bowling Lounge.
“All three of these are examples of cases where there’s folks in the community who could help us get these killers off the street,” Hendricks said Friday at a meeting of the city’s Gang Violence Task Force, made up of police, city and county leaders, outreach workers and community members. “My plea is to the community: If you know – even if you think you may know what happened — please call homicide detectives.” So far this year, Portland’s Gang Violence Response Team has fielded 37 call-outs for shootings, fights or stabbings compared with 26 by the end of April last year. The team was called out 103 times to gang-related violence in 2011, the most in 10 years.