How might the riots be responsible for these outcomes? The National Bureau of Economic Research suggests a number of ways:
Property risk might seem higher in central city neighborhoods than before the riots, causing insurance premiums to rise; taxes for income redistribution or more police and fire protection might increase, and municipal bonds may be more difficult to place; retail outlets might close; businesses and employment opportunities might relocate; middle and higher income households might move away; burned out buildings might be an eyesore; and so on. These damaging aspects of riots, the authors find, apparently outweighed outside assistance directed toward the riot areas in the wake of the disturbances.
The Minnesota Reformer reported in mid-July that:
At least 127 people are facing charges related to the unrest after Floyd’s death, according to a Reformer review of all unrest-related charges filed so far by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, the city of St. Paul and the city of Minneapolis. The vast majority of people charged are Minnesota residents — but fewer than half live in Minneapolis or St. Paul.
It might be fun for some people to travel to a riot, smash some stuff up, and head home thinking they have struck a blow for some cause or other. The evidence shows that it is those left behind who pay the costs.
Or as James Lileks wrote yesterday of Minneapolis:
They had stories of what it’s like to live downtown now, and if I could sum it up, it would be this: SUDDENLY CRAZY. Emboldened lawlessness. A year ago: living in a beautiful neighborhood with spectacular views, access to parks and restaurants, peaceable dog walks after dark. Now: Carjackings, fireworks, madmen muttering outside the front door, a spiky sense that anything outside of a block or two radius is questionable. These are long-time downtown residents.
It should be noted that they did not gentrify anything and drive out residents; the area was utterly depopulated until the condos were built in the husks of the old industrial buildings. They pay a huge amount of taxes. And they feel as if no one has their back, because no one does.
It’s not that no one can fight the disorder. It’s that there aren’t enough resources, and disorder is something they’re expected to accept.
It took 20 years to build up this part of the city, and three months to spoil it.
Pompeii Detroit to this time capsule video from 1965, just before the lights went out:
Since antifa rioters have a well-funded network that bails them out after they get arrested, and since the local district attorney has announced he will not prosecute various crimes — even when rioters violently attack police — perhaps the police decided it was not worth their time to arrest the rioters. Or perhaps Wheeler directed them to stand down on the ridiculous hope that not enforcing the law would somehow “deescalate” the situation.
Although Wheeler has finally vocally condemned the violent antifa rioters, it appears he is triangulating in the race against self-described antifa candidate Sarah Iannarone. Wheeler rightly condemned violent antifa rioters for “attempting to commit murder” by trapping police officers inside the Penumbra Kelly building before trying to light it on fire. Iannarone refused to condemn the attempted murder, saying, “I understand why they’re angry.”
These are the two candidates who will face off in November — the mayor who waited for months to condemn the violence and the challenger who still refuses to condemn attempted murder.
“I believe that we would have buildings on fire. I truly do,” [Sgt. Brent Maxey] replied. He continued, “The people that have been coming out to the justice center and to the police precincts, they want to abolish the police…They’re basically trying to bankrupt the Portland Police Bureau. I think if we didn’t respond to these things I think that we would have buildings on fire.”
As for what Sgt. Maxey sees as the solution to this ongoing situation, he says it has to be about conversations rather than screaming matches. He describes one incident where someone shouted something vulgar at him. He engaged the person and they wound up speaking for 90 minutes. He said that at the end they didn’t agree but they both shook hands and he felt like there was some mutual understanding. “All I see anymore is screaming. We go out and nobody is interested in a dialogue,” he said. He added, “If I do find somebody who wants to talk, other people come and shut them down.”
At this point I would just interject that there are reasons the woke won’t debate people, including the officers they are protesting. As James Lindsay put it, “Conversation and debate are part of our game, and they are not part of their game.” Their game, in the case of the Portland protests, is tactics of conflict and “direct action.” Conversation is counter to that goal.
More: Andy Ngo tweets a link to the following video, in which veteran journalist Lisa Balick of Portland CBS affiliate KOIN 6 “reports what happened yesterday when a BLM mob beat Adam Haner unconscious in downtown after attacking his partner. Straight news like this is rare. Most media in Portland have systematically failed or misled the public:”