All 50 of Portland’s rapid response officers quit their jobs this week after the indictment of Officer Corey Budworth for the accusation that he assaulted a person during a riot last summer.
“Unfortunately, this public servant was caught in the middle of agenda-driven leaders and a politicized justice system., the Police Association of Portland said this week after a Multnomah County grand jury hit Budworth with fourth-degree assault charges in connection to the Aug. 2020 event.
That night, around 200 demonstrators – many using tactical helmets, with faces covered, and armed with many different types of weapons – descended onto southeast Portland. Numerous dumpsters were set ablaze, buildings were damaged, and windows were smashed. A riot was declared after someone launched a Molotov cocktail into a building, setting it on fire.
“After almost 75 nights of riots, a small group of Rapid Response Team (RRT) officers — including Budworth — were asked to deal with the riot., the Police Association said.
After being dispersed, rioters started marching back to where they were. As the RRT was working to clear the area, Officer Budworth “was forcefully hit to the ground” and officers used pepper spray and less lethal ammo as the crowd got more aggressive.
Numerous rioters tried to stop an officer from putting one person under arrest.
“Officer Budworth used his batons to stop the rioter’s criminal activity., the union’s account of events continued. “Using his training and in response to the aggression of someone interfering with an arrest, Officer Budworth used his baton to push a rioter, now identified as Teri Jacobs.”
Jacobs fell down. Video revealing Budworth hitting Jacobs in head from behind quickly spread on social media. But the union said this hit was an accident and that the officer used the lowest level of force.
A Portland Police Bureau (PPB) comment has said the 50 resignations were effective as of Wednesday, and it is uncertain what implications this has for law enforcement response to future riots and protests in Portland.
Author: Scott Dowdy