Na News Online Desk: The riot-control team at the Portland police department decided to quit en masse after another cop was indicted for slugging a photographer. About 50 members of the department’s elite Rapid Response Team voted to resign at a union meeting Wednesday, days after the indictment of officer Corey Budworth over the Aug. 18 incident, Fox News said in a report Thursday.
“Unfortunately, this decorated public servant has been caught in the crossfire of agenda-driven city leaders and a politicized criminal justice system,” the Portland Police Association said in a statement earlier this week.
The RRT team members, who include detectives and sergeants, serve in the detail on a volunteer basis and “will continue in their regular assignments,” the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement Thursday.
Budworth was indicted by a Multnomah County grand jury on one count of fourth-degree assault related to the incident involving activist and photographer Teri Jacobs.Footage of the incident shows Budworth striking Jacobs in the back of the head with a police baton while cops tried to quell violent demonstrations in the wake of the police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year.
The Oregon city saw some of the nation’s most violent and ongoing protests. Budworth was later charged in the incident.
“Law enforcement is held to a higher standard and must constantly strive to live up to that standard,” Portland Chief Chuck Lovell said in a statement Tuesday.“PPB has processes of accountability in place that take time to complete,” the chief said. “As chief, I have a role to play in the Police Bureau’s internal process associated with this case and there I cannot provide additional details.”
But the city police union said Budworth was just doing his job and said the cop “was forcefully knocked to the ground” during the unruly protest, Fox said. The union said Jacobs “fell to the ground” during the encounter.
“Reasonably believing that she was getting back up to re-engage in her unlawful activities, Officer Budworth employed one last baton push to try to keep her on the ground, which accidentally struck Ms. Jacobs in the head,” the union said.
Jacobs’ lawyer, however, said his client “was brutally beaten in the head, neck, back, and face” by Budworth’s baton during the unrest. The city has since agreed to a $50,000 civil settlement for Jacobs in the case, Fox said.