UPDATED 1:25 PM PT – Saturday, August 15, 2020
Cities across the nation have been spending millions of dollars to repair the damages incurred during ongoing riots and demonstrations. Already debt-ridden from the economic impact of the coronavirus, cities are now feeling the massive financial burden of these protests, which were sparked by the death of George Floyd.
Looting, attacks on officers and property damage are just a few leading causes behind these high costs.
“What occurred in our downtown and surrounding communities was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple. There cannot be any excuse for it, period. This is not legitimate First Amendment protected speech.” – Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago
Portland, Oregon has seen similar issues. Dozens of nights of protests and riots have cost the city around $23 million in total damages.
Beyond the financial cost, law enforcement has been exceptionally strained as they continue to protect cities from rioters. This comes amid impending budget cuts to police departments, which were also initiated by the protests.
“It’s a drain on resources. We have people who are dedicated to just provoking a police response. That response is taking away from our ability to go out and give people the service that they expect from the police bureau.” – Chief Chuck Lowell, Portland Police Bureau
The total cost of these riots nationwide is reportedly expected to exceed that of any demonstration in American history, including the $1.4 billion recovery from the 1992 Los Angeles riots.