Every member of Portland’s police “crowd control unit” has resigned from their assignment one day after a grand jury in Oregon indicted a fellow officer for the alleged use of “unlawful” force against a protestor during last year’s violent “social justice” riots.
“The Portland Police Bureau said that members of its Rapid Response Team (RRT) resigned as a group on Wednesday,” reported NBC News. “Approximately 50 officers, detectives, and sergeants make up the team, Acting Police Chief Chris Davis said Thursday at a press briefing.”
“On June 16, 2021, Portland Police Bureau employees serving as members of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) left their voluntary positions and no longer comprise a team,” the Portland Police Bureau announced in a statement. “Its members were sworn employees of the Portland Police who served on RRT in addition to their daily assignment in the Bureau. Despite no longer serving on RRT, they will continue in their regular assignments. There were approximately 50 employees serving as RRT members.”
“The Rapid Response Team is an all-hazard incident response team that has received advanced specialized training to respond to incidents requiring higher levels of technical expertise including public order policing, natural or man-made disasters,” the statement continued. “The primary role has been to provide public safety at crowd events when there was a threat of harm to the community. All Rapid Response Team members are trained in advanced skills related to crowd management and crowd control including crowd psychology and behavior, team formations and movements, the use of enhanced personal protective equipment, use of force, de-escalation and arrests.”
The resignation move followed the decision by a Multnomah County grand jury to charge officer Corey Budworth with one count of fourth-degree assault “after he was accused of unlawfully causing physical injury to someone during a protest on Aug. 18, 2020, near the Multnomah Building.”
“In this case, we allege that no legal justification existed for Officer Budworth’s deployment of force and that the deployment of force was legally excessive under the circumstances,” said District Attorney Mike Schmidt.
Portland Police Association blasted the move to charge Budworth, saying the decision was “politically driven” in a statement on Facebook.
Describing Budworth as “a committed public servant of the highest integrity,” the union said that the “decorated public servant has been caught in the crossfire of agenda-driven city leaders and a politicized criminal justice system.”
“After nearly 75 consecutive nights of violence, destruction, and mayhem, a small group of RRT officers — including Officer Budworth — were again tasked with dealing with the riot. Per PPB Command Staff orders, RRT officers cleared the rioters from the area to allow the Fire Bureau to extinguish the blaze,” the union continued. “But the rioters were not satisfied. A short time later, the same group of rioters re-amassed and began to march back toward the Multnomah Building. RRT was again deployed to disperse the crowd and prevent any further violence and criminal activity. A confrontation then ensued. As RRT officers worked to clear the rioting crowd, Officer Budworth was forcefully knocked to the ground. The crowd grew even more aggressive, prompting other RRT officers to deploy pepper spray and less lethal munitions to try and break up the riot.”
After detailing the events which are alleged to have transpired involving a “rioter” named “Teri Jacobs,” the union accused the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office of “Ignoring the reality of the violent nature of the crowd and Ms. Jacob’s criminal activity … ”
“We stand by our officer, truth, and justice,” the union statement concluded.