Portland Officers Resign En Masse From Squad Tasked With Protest Response

The Portland Police Bureau’s Rapid Response Team, which is primarily responsible for providing public safety at crowd events, consisted of approximately 50 officers, all of whom resigned Wednesday, the bureau announced. The assignment is voluntary and the officers will remain on the force and continue their regular assignments, the bureau said.

The mass resignation comes a day after a grand jury indicted Portland Police Bureau Officer Corey Budworth on one count of fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, for what prosecutors allege was an “excessive and unlawful use of force” during a protest in August 2020.

The union said Budworth accidentally struck the woman, Teri Jacobs, in the head with his baton while trying to break up a riot, and alleged Jacobs was interfering with an arrest.

ABC

Here’s part of a statement from the Portland Police Association:

During the encounter, an officer began to take one of the rioters into custody. Other rioters interfered with the arrest. RRT officers, including Officer Budworth, used their Police Bureau-issued batons to try and stop the crowd’s criminal activity. Per his training and in response to the active aggression of a rioter interfering with a lawful arrest, Officer Budworth used baton pushes to move a rioter, now known to be Teri Jacobs, out of the area. As Officer Budworth cleared Ms. Jacobs from the area to stop her criminal activity, Ms. Jacobs fell to the ground. Reasonably believing that she was getting back up to re-engage in her unlawful activities, Officer Budworth employed one last baton push to try and keep her on the ground, which accidentally struck Ms. Jacobs in the head. The location of Officer Budworth’s last baton push was accidental, not criminal. He faced a violent and chaotic, rapidly evolving situation, and he used the lowest level of baton force—a push; not a strike or a jab—to remove Ms. Jacobs from the area.

◾️Jacobs settled a lawsuit against the city over the incident for $50,000.

◾️Jacobs was never arrested or charged with a crime during the incident.

◾️Jacobs says she was working as an independent journalist at the time and was wearing a press badge.

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