Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

Whole Portland Police Unit Resigns After Coworker Indicted For Excessive Force

PORTLAND OR- APRIL 12 A Portland police officers officer tackles demonstrators after a riot was declared during a protest against the killing of Daunte Wright Portland Riot Team Disbands After Member Indicted for Striking Antifa Rioter
Cary Erickson | 19 June, 2021, 21:21

In response, the police union fired back, calling the indictment a "politically driven charging decision".

"Jacobs says she was attacked despite carrying a press card".

Although the rest of the team, which was about 50 members, quit their duties on the RRT, they will remain on the force in their "regular assignments", Portland Police said.

"After almost 75 consecutive nights of violence, destruction, and mayhem, a small group of RRT officers - including Officer Budworth - were again tasked with dealing with the riot", the Associated continued.

The mass resignation is similar to an episode in June 2020, when all 57 officers on the Buffalo Police Department's Emergency Response Team, a special squad formed to respond to riots, resigned from the team in support of two team members who had been suspended after they were captured on video shoving a 75-year-old protester to the ground.

In October, Former President of the Police Union, and Presiding Executive Director, Daryl Turner emphasized that "members [of the protest response unit] do not volunteer to have Molotov cocktails, fireworks, explosives, rocks, bottles, urine, feces and other risky objects thrown at them". "I think this has very deep roots in some really just. unbelievable things that [RRT officers] have been subjected to over the last 14 months, particularly in the second half of 2020".

Davis, who is now serving as PPB's acting chief while PPB Chief Chuck Lovell attends training out-of-state, said officers did mention Budworth's criminal charges in their resignation letter.

The association accused Multnomah County District Attorney's Office of playing politics with Budworth by ignoring "the violent nature of the crowd and Ms. Jacob's criminal activity".

"I have confidence that the [Police] Bureau will continue their mission to maintain public safety", said Schmidt.

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"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 Tuesday after a Multnomah County grand jury charged Budworth with one count of fourth-degree assault related to the August 18, 2020, incident.

"Portland Police officers need to understand that they are not above the law nor are their actions exempt from the protections the Constitution aims to provide to people against exactly these types of abuse by police", the lawyers, Juan Chavez and Franz Bruggemeier, said in a statement. As law enforcement officials, we recognize that community members and law enforcement officers alike are responsible for their conduct and that our judicial system is created to address wrongdoing equally, whether by community members or law enforcement officers.

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler has released a statement acknowledging the challenges faced by those who served on the RRT. "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".

PPA Executive Director Daryl Turner took aim at the city itself, arguing residents did not respect officers despite their response to protests this year, which "consistently ensued, night-after-night, under the cover of darkness".

"When that line is crossed, and a police officer's use of force is excessive and lacks a justification under the law, the integrity of our criminal justice system requires that we as prosecutors act as a mechanism for accountability", Schmidt said.

PPA has always been critical of Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt's handling of racial justice protests, accusing him of acting too lenient towards protesters who damage property, start fires, or taunt police.

"Once the full picture is revealed, we are confident that justice will prevail, and Officer Budworth will be exonerated of all charges", the statement conceded.

The Portland Police Association said the officer had been "caught in the crossfire of agenda-driven city leaders and a politicised criminal justice system". Schmidt told OPB Wednesday that his office is still investigating several other cases involving officer use of force during protests.

The Portland Police have also been criticized for using excessive force against protesters.