Portland riot squad quit today after the indictment of Officer Corey Budworth for allegedly assaulting a photographer last summer during the Portland riots.
“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.
According to the police union, that night the officers were attacked by 200 protestors. Officer Budworth accidentally hit photographer Teri Jacobs in the head while attempting to gain control of the rioters. In the typical fashion that cities seem to do, she was awarded a $50,000 settlement from the City of Portland.
Despite not being charged with any crimes, the police continue to insist that Jacobs was part of the riots that set a government building on fire with a Molotov cocktail. 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.
The Rapid Response Team is a highly trained team of 50 individuals who are equipped to handle riots remain employed by the Portland Police Department but are no longer the Rapid Response Team.
“After nearly 75 consecutive nights of violence, destruction, and mayhem, a small group of RRT (Rapid Response Team) officers â€” including Officer Budworth â€” were again tasked with dealing with the riot,” the Portland Police Association said. “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.”
“So, what typically happens, is the riot team gets called out to be prepared for a huge protest. Then patrol officers from all three precincts are on standby which gets activated when the protest starts. This means all patrol calls go to ‘priority calls only,’ basically only active assaults, shootings, and person crimes only get responded to. All other calls hold indefinitely until the protest is over or the next day,” sources told The Post Millennial.
“Now that the riot team is no more, we have no clue what’s going to happen. We don’t have enough patrol officers to be pulled from the road to handle huge crowds,” a Portland police officer said. “We are only backups with no gear like the riot team has.”
Losing the entire riot squad quit, all 50 members, does not bode well for a city that has been tossed into turmoil for well over a year now.
The Portland Police Association accused Multnomah District Attorney Mike Schmidt of ignoring the reality of the violent nature of the crowd and Jacobâ€™s criminal activity. The union stressed that Budworth did exactly as he was trained, arguing that the Portland Police Bureauâ€™s own experts reviewed his actions and found them “reasonable, permissible, and in accordance with his training.”
“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 union said. “Once the full picture is revealed, we are confident that justice will prevail, and Officer Budworth will be exonerated of all charges. And we look forward to seeing the District Attorneyâ€™s office make progress on prosecuting the real criminals who are perpetrating vandalism, arson, gun violence, and other violent crimes in our community. We stand by our officer, truth, and justice.”
In a time when people are becoming more violent and demanding that police be defunded, it’s probably not the wisest decision to upset your entire riot squad. Especially when there are more planned demonstrations and protests planned for this upcoming weekend. Having the entire riot squad quit does not bode well for the already suffering town.
Read more about last years Portland riots here.