The entire Portland Riot Squad resigned on Wednesday after a colleague was indicted for striking a Marxist photographer.
Portland‘s 50-person riot squad resigned in protest Wednesday in solidarity with one of their colleagues indicted for striking a photographer they claim was a rioter.
The resignations were effective immediately, according to the Portland Police Bureau, and come after the indictment on Tuesday of Officer Corey Budworth, for assault during an incident in which he allegedly struck photographer Teri Jacobs in the head during a riot last August.
‘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 Tuesday.
Video of the incident was shared on social media, in which Budworth appears to push the photographer, who has been identified as Jacobs, an activist, and then striking her in the head with his baton.
Jacobs says she was attacked despite carrying a press card. She was not charged with any crime, and received a $50,000 settlement from the City of Portland as a result of the baton strike. Cops have continued to insist she was part of a riot which set a government building alight with a petrol bomb.
The officers from the Rapid Response Team, which is equipped to handle riots, will remain employed in the Portland Police Department, the PPB said, but would no longer be a part of the team.
It is not clear how the resignation’s would affect the department’s effectiveness during riots, with the Oregon city experiencing nightly unrest in its downtown district for the last year.
‘Under the cover of darkness, a group of 200 demonstrators, many equipped with tactical helmets, faces covered, and armed with a variety of weapons, sparked a night of violence. Multiple dumpsters were set on fire, buildings were defaced, and windows were broken.’ the Portland Police Association said, giving its version of the events of August 18 when the assault allegedly occurred.
Eventually, the event escalated and was declared a riot.
‘After nearly 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 description continued. ‘Per PPB Command Staff orders, RRT officers cleared the rioters from the area to allow the Fire Bureau to extinguish the blaze. But the rioters were not satisfied.’
‘RRT was again deployed to disperse the crowd and prevent any further violence and criminal activity. A confrontation then ensued. As RRT officers worked to clear the rioting crowd, Officer Budworth was forcefully knocked to the ground. The crowd grew even more aggressive, prompting other RRT officers to deploy pepper spray and less lethal munitions to try and break up the riot.’
The union said an officer then attempted to arrest one of the rioters, when others began to interfere.
‘Per his training and in response to the active aggression of a rioter interfering with a lawful arrest, Officer Budworth used baton pushes to move a rioter, now known to be Teri Jacobs, out of the area. As Officer Budworth cleared Ms. Jacobs from the area to stop her criminal activity, Ms. Jacobs fell to the ground,’ the union continued.
‘Reasonably believing that she was getting back up to re-engage in her unlawful activities, Officer Budworth employed one last baton push to try and keep her on the ground, which accidentally struck Ms. Jacobs in the head.’
The PPA said Budworth’s indictment by Multnomah District Attorney Mike Schmidt ignored the reality of the chaotic situation.
‘We ask our community to wait for all the facts before passing judgment. We trust in our criminal justice system when the system fairly and objectively applies the rule of law,’ the statement continued. ‘Once the full picture is revealed, we are confident that justice will prevail, and Officer Budworth will be exonerated of all charges.’
Schmidt’s office released a statement on Thursday in response to the resignations.
‘Management and staffing of the Rapid Response Team falls within the purview of the leadership of the Portland Police Bureau. I have confidence that the Bureau will continue their mission to maintain public safety. In the meantime, my office will continue to focus on the fair and just prosecution of criminal matters. We cannot expect the community to trust law enforcement if we hold ourselves to a lower standard.’
In addition to the criminal charge against Budworth, Jacobs sued Budworth in September for excessive force, claiming that he, ‘swung his truncheon like a baseball bat at Ms. Jacobs, striking her several times,’ according to a copy of the suit obtained by the Wilamette Week.
‘As Ms. Jacobs was knocked to the ground, she was terrified that the officer was going continue to attack her, and she feared that she might never get up again if he continued with his violent attack,’ the complaint continued.
The city reached a $50,000 settlement, with Jacobs in February, in addition to $11,000 in attorney fees.
Schmidt’s office said it had learned of Jacob’s identity when she filed the suit.
Sharing her version of events with KATU in April, Jacobs said: ‘I’m doing my very best to get to the sidewalk, and it feels like it doesn’t matter where I am, what I do, these police officers are going to run me over, ram into me.
‘I really wasn’t aware of what was happening or the pain that I was in until I was on the sidewalk, and then I realized like, whoa, my back, my head, like what just happened there.’
She said she was trying to help a friend lying on the road when she was struck, and added that her camera was smashed during the incident.
Jacobs Facebook profile includes a photo of a group of black-clad people giving the finger to a passing vehicle that is blurred, in front of a boarded up building.
She also shared photos of herself protesting on her Instagram page, captioning one snap: ‘This is America. Stop attacking your own people and leave Portland. Remember the oath you took, to support and defend the constitution of the United States of America. Feds, go home!’
The incident occurred amid sustained protests in the city following the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd.
From June through July there were protests virtually every day in the city, with tens of thousands of demonstrators, some of whom identified themselves as members of ANTIFA.
More recently, in February around 150 suspected members of the violent anti-fascist group took part in a protest against President Joe Biden’s immigration policies, vandalizing several businesses including a Starbucks, Chipotle, Umpqua Bank and Urban Pantry.
Last month two groups of radical protesters, who have throughout the past year represented Antifa and other far-left causes, were armed with weapons, body armor, shields and flares and marched throughout parts of the city.
The riots came as violent skirmishes occurred worldwide during so-called ‘May Day’ protests in favor of worker’s rights – but that descended into anarchist free-for-alls
Evidently sick and tired of being told to stand down while antifa terrorists throw bricks at them and destroy the city on a regular basis, the Portland police bureau’s Rapid Response Team has quit. All of them. There is no specialty unit left to respond to riots now. These positions were voluntary and the officers who had served on the riot squad will continue in their regular beat patrol duties. As many Gateway Pundit readers know, Multnomah county District Attorney Mike Schmidt often drops charges on the few who are actually arrested at these protests.
The official Portland Police Bureau press release reads:
On June 16, 2021, Portland Police Bureau employees serving as members of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) left their voluntary positions and no longer comprise a team. Its members were sworn employees of the Portland Police who served on RRT in addition to their daily assignment in the Bureau. Despite no longer serving on RRT, they will continue in their regular assignments. There were approximately 50 employees serving as RRT members.
The Rapid Response Team is an all-hazard incident response team that has received advanced specialized training to respond to incidents requiring higher levels of technical expertise including public order policing, natural or man-made disasters. The primary role has been to provide public safety at crowd events when there was a threat of harm to the community. All Rapid Response Team members are trained in advanced skills related to crowd management and crowd control including crowd psychology and behavior, team formations and movements, the use of enhanced personal protective equipment, use of force, de-escalation and arrests.
FM News 101 learned late Wednesday night that in response to the criminal indictment of Officer Corey Budworth, the bureaus entire Rapid Response Team resigned. Sources with the Police Bureau say the team voted unanimously to disband.
The Rapid Response Team is a group of volunteer officers who respond to civil disobedience, demonstrations, and riots.
Tuesday, a member of the team was charged with assault for actions during an August 18, 2020 riot in Southeast Portland.
Wednesday, Portland Police Association Executive Director, Daryl Turner told the Lars Larson Show that he feared officers would quit in response to what he called a “Witch Hunt” of a prosecution. In its own investigation the Portland Police Bureau determined no wrongdoing by the officer. He did not violate training or department rules. He did his job within the scope of the law.
The resignations came after news this week that one member of the team, Officer Corey Budworth, would face criminal charges for excessive force used during a racial justice protest last year, and that a second Rapid Response Team member, Det. Erik Kammerer, is being investigated by the Oregon Department of Justice on similar allegations.
Speaking to OPB on Wednesday, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said his office was still reviewing other use of force cases by officers related to protests, leaving the door open for further criminal prosecutions against RRT members.
In a statement Thursday, the police bureau confirmed the resignations but did not give a specific reason why the officers decided to leave the team.
What disbanding the unit means for the future of how the police respond to protests in Portland remains unclear, but the Rapid Response Team’s deployment during more than 100 nights of protests for racial justice in 2020 was costly. According to city budget figures, Portland police racked up nearly $7 million in overtime in June and July of 2020 alone.
The Portland police bureau did not respond to questions asking how the city would manage events, such as protests, where the Rapid Response Team would typically deploy.
The Portland Police Association, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, has lobbed criticisms at Schmidt’s office this week over Budworth’s prosecution, calling it a political move and saying that Budworth was “caught in the crossfire of agenda-driven city leaders and a politicized criminal justice system.”
Budworth is accused of hitting activist photographer Teri Jacobs from behind with a baton. Several videos of the incident posted to social media show Jacobs with her hands over her head moving away as officers clear a street near the Multnomah Building on Southeast Hawthorne Avenue. An officer in the video, identified as Budworth, hits Jacobs once in the head from behind, and then hits her head again after she falls to the ground.
In February, the city of Portland settled a lawsuit with Jacobs, who was wearing press credentials at the time of the alleged assault, for $50,000.
Stay tuned to see how this experiment plays out!
Meanwhile, Portland Police Bureau deputy chief Chris Davis is trying to flee the mess that his policies helped create, as he has been throwing his name out there for various different chief positions in other cities. After Milwaukee and Fresno both turned him away, he has now applied for the open chief job in Akron. According to that Akron Beacon Journal article, the Portland Police Bureau is about 800 officers strong, down from about 1000 available positions, as more and more officers quit the force. You want your city to be the next Portland?