The Rapid Response Team, a unit within the Portland police department, voted unanimously to resign on Wednesday during a meeting with the police union. This follows the criminal indictment of an officer for assault stemming from a riot in August 2020, sources within the police bureau told The Post Millennial.
Officer Corey Budworth was on the Rapid Response Team, a group police officers that volunteer for the post, and are deployed to respond to riots, civil unrest, and demonstrations in Portland. Budworth was indicted and charged with one count of fourth degree assault, a misdemeanor by Multnomah District Attorney Mike Schmidt's office on Tuesday.
On the night of August 18, 2020, Antifa militants threw a Molotov cocktail into the County Sheriff's Department Headquarters as the Rapid Response Team struggled to contain the riot.
In a statement released after the indictment, Schmidt said "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."
"My office will continue to do everything we can to ensure justice is done without error or delay and that we make sure our work and practices are rooted in fairness and equity," Schmidt said.
Budworth is accused of hitting activist photographer and rioter Teri Jacobs with a baton. Videos posted to social media shows Budworth hitting Jacobs in the head from behind, then again as she falls to the ground, OPB reports. Video of the incident circulated on social media.
"Unfortunately, this decorated public servant has been caught in the crossfire of agenda-driven city leaders and a politicized criminal justice system," the police union wrote in a statement, describing Jacobs as a "criminal rioter."
Budworth's indictment is a blatant attempt to "hold police accountable," a source within the Portland Police Bureau told The Post Millennial, stating that "no victim came forward." Instead, they claim that an attorney saw the video and approached Jacobs about pressing charges against the officer.
"So, what typically happens, is the riot team gets called out to be prepared for a huge protest. Then patrol officers from all three precincts are on standby which gets activated when the protest starts. This means all patrol calls go to 'priority calls only,' basically only active assaults, shootings, and person crimes only get responded to. All other calls hold indefinitely until the protest is over or the next day," sources told The Post Millennial.
"Now that the riot team is no more, we have no clue what's going to happen. We don't have enough patrol officers to be pulled from the road to handle huge crowds," a Portland police officer said. "We are only backups with no gear like the riot team has."
This is ahead of massive demonstrations and protests that are planned for this upcoming weekend.
Portland Police Association Executive Director Daryl Turner expressed concerns to the Lars Larson Show on Wednesday, after the indictment, fearing officers would quit after the Tuesday prosecution of officer Budworth in which was described as a "witch hunt."
In October, County District Attorney Mike Schmidt rejected over 540 riot related cases in "interest of justice" and has implemented catch-and-release policies for accused criminals and rioters.