American News Jun 22, 2021 6:39 AM EST

Portland police union says violence encouraged and enabled by elected officials led to riot response team resignations

"The residents and the business owners of the city of Portland have a hopeless feeling right now with what’s gone on."

Portland police union says violence encouraged and enabled by elected officials led to riot response team resignations
Katie Daviscourt Seattle, WA
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The President of the Portland Police Association Daryl Turner said on Sunday that the entire Portland Police Rapid Response Team quit because local elected officials "encouraged and enabled some of the violence" that Portland endured for more than 150 consecutive nights of riots following the death of George Floyd.

The entire Rapid Response Team, a unit within the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), voted unanimously to resign last Wednesday after a meeting with the police union following the criminal indictment of an officer for assault stemming from a riot in August 2020.

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.

The officers' resignations leaves unanswered questions as the city of Portland continues to embrace riots perpetrated by Antifa and far-left activists. Portland’s Deputy Police Chief Chris Davis said PPB will make sure there are "as close to adequate resources as we can get within just the limits that we have to deal with anything that comes up with on-duty resources."

Turner stressed on Fox News Live on Sunday that the message sent by officers resigning from the post "is not just about our officer being indicted."

Turner said that October of last year, the Portland Police Association union sent a letter to the city on behalf of PPB’s Rapid Response Team stating all the issues and problems and concerns that they had based on what happened over 150 days, during the "unprecedented sustained violence in the city of Portland."

Turner said on Fox News Live that "our rapid response team along with others from the police bureau came out every night [and] stood the line with … Molotov cocktails, urine, feces, rocks, bottles, everything else thrown at them."

Turner mentioned that families of Portland police officer’s were also threatened, adding to the long list of reasons that accumulated to their resignations.

"We had multiple assaults during the riots and also multiple assaults of police officers during the same riots," he said, arguing that District Attorney Mike Schmidt "who indicted our officer, declined 80 percent of the crimes committed during those riots."

The Multnomah County District Attorney's office rejected 891 of the 1,108 criminal civil unrest cases that were referred to them between May 29, 2020, and June 11, 2021, KATU-TV reported.

Daryl Turner told Fox News Live on Sunday that the city of Portland did not support the police department during the riots and instead "actually encouraged and enabled some of the violence that was going on during those 150 plus nights."

"The residents and the business owners of the city of Portland have a hopeless feeling right now with what’s gone on," he said, noting PPB is understaffed and had been "defunded."

Turner also mentioned that morale is low throughout the Portland Police Department during a recent interview with NBC Nightly News following the resignation of Portland’s entire riot team last week. "Morale is as bad as it’s ever been before," Turner said.

"We're dealing with rioting at a level, and a sustained violence, that we've never seen before. We're looking at violence in our city, gun violence in our city, like we've never seen before. We're looking at the most catastrophic staffing levels we've never seen before. We're looking at budget cuts to defund us like we've never seen before."

"All those things play into the morale of a police officer. Coming to work everyday, trying to do your job, trying to do it right with all these roadblocks in the way," Turner said to NBC Nightly News.

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