Entire Portland police unit resigns after indictment of officer

19 Juin, 2021, 03:33 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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Budworth was charged "in connection with an alleged assault during a confrontation with protestors demonstrating against George Floyd's murder previous year".

Budworth was indicted on fourth-degree assault charges by a Multnomah County grand jury on Tuesday, making him the first PPB officer to face criminal charges for use of force during a demonstration.

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 unsafe objects thrown at them".

Every member of a police crowd-control unit in the USA city of Portland has resigned after one of its officers was indicted on an assault charge.

Multiple videos posted to social media show an officer, identified as Budworth, running after Jacobs and hitting her once in the head from behind, and then hitting her head again after she falls to the ground.

CNN has reached out to Budworth's attorneys for comment. Members of the RRT were often responsible for breaking up a crowd after PPB determined that a demonstration had turned into a riot, and often used force-from tear gas to less-lethal munitions-to do so.

The officers, he said, had complained not only about the indictment, but about what they viewed as a broader lack of support after more than 150 nights of sustained protests, fueled in part by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020.

"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. It happened in Buffalo last summer under similar circumstances.

"After almost 75 consecutive nights of violence, destruction, and mayhem, a small group of RRT (Rapid Response Team) officers - including Officer Budworth - were again tasked with dealing with the riot", the Portland Police Association said.

"The primary role has been to provide public safety at crowd events when there was a threat of harm to the community", the bureau added.

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The unit has essentially disbanded, but the officers remain on the force, according to the police department.

The report recommended that the city implement additional crowd-control training for both the Rapid Response Team and another specialized squad, the Mobile Field Force.

Members of the RRT served as the police bureau's lead responders to the city's recent racial justice protests, which drew thousands of Portlanders into the street to protest police violence.

"Our entire organization has been put through something none of us have ever seen through our careers - and at a level and intensity that I don't think any other city in the United States has experienced", Davis said.

Jacobs' attorney, Juan Chavez, said the resignations represented "contempt" officers felt for the public. "The refusal to acknowledge and address this wrongdoing goes to the heart of what's wrong with Portland Police".

Schmidt released a statement in response to the mass resignation of the Rapid Response Team, saying, "I have confidence that the Bureau will continue their mission to maintain public safety. 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". 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. "Jacobs says she was attacked despite carrying a press card".

The officers' union has denounced the indictment, describing it as a "politically driven charging decision" against an officer who "worked to restore order during a chaotic night of burning and destruction in Portland".

The union claimed the rioters regrouped and knocked Budworth to the ground as they marched towards the building.

"Officer Budworth employed one last baton push to try and keep her on the ground, which accidentally struck Ms. Jacobs in the head".

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