Portland police protest team resigns in response to indictment of fellow officer

The officer was indicted for his involvement in the assault of a woman during a George Floyd protest.

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A group of Portland police officers resigned on Thursday due to the indictment of one of their officers.

The officer was indicted for his involvement in the assault of a woman during a George Floyd protest. According to a statement from the department, the officers were a part of the bureau’s protest response unit, per The Hill.

“Portland police bureau employees serving as members of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) left their voluntary positions and no longer comprise a team,” per a press release.

A crowd gathers during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

“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.”

Police officer Corey Budworth who was also a member of the protest unit, was charged with fourth-degree assault for allegedly hitting a woman in the head during a protest back in August.

The police department defended Budworth’s action and called the assault “accidental.”

“Unfortunately, this decorated public servant has been caught in the crossfire of agenda-driven city leaders and a politicized criminal justice system,” read a Facebook post by the department.

Protests erupted around the country after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed Floyd last May.

The release continued:

“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 officers resigned because they felt City Hall and the district attorney did not support them after 100 nights of covering the protests.

The city’s mayor released a statement in regards to the unit’s dismantling.

“I want to acknowledge the toll this past year has taken on them and their families — they have worked long hours under difficult conditions,” said mayor Ted Wheeler. “I personally heard from some of them today, and I appreciate their willingness to share their concerns about managing the many public gatherings that often were violent and destructive.”

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