Officers, sergeants resign from Portland's Rapid Response Team

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

The Portland Police Bureau's Rapid Response Team, which is primarily responsible for providing public safety at crowd events, consisted of approximately 50 officers, all of whom resigned Wednesday, the bureau announced.

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

The assignment is voluntary and the officers will remain on the force and continue their regular assignments, the bureau said.

In a news release, the Portland Police Bureau described the team as "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 meeting and vote came one day after RRT member Officer Corey Budworth was indicted and charged with fourth-degree assault for his actions last summer.

"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", Jacobs said of the incident, according to KATU2. Davis said he supports Multnomah County District Attorney Schmidt's commitment to holding people accountable-including PPB officers-for criminal activity.

"It is my expectation, and the community's expectation, that the City remains committed to public safety and effective police oversight". "In the meantime, my office will continue to focus on the fair and just prosecution of criminal matters".

"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. "We can not expect the community to trust law enforcement if we hold ourselves to a lower standard".

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

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".

"I want to acknowledge the toll this past year has taken on them and their families-they have worked long hours under hard conditions", Wheeler writes. 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 Oregonian also notes that "t$3 he Portland Police Association issued a statement earlier this week, saying [the district attorney] needs to prosecute 'the real criminals who are perpetrating vandalism, arson, gun violence, and other violent crimes in [the] community, ' and not go after officers attempting to do their jobs with little support".

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.

Federal officials in OR called Friday for a deescalating of tensions in Portland in response to the mass resignation of the 50-member police protest squad after one of its officers was charged with assault.

On Tuesday, Schmidt said that was there was "no legal justification" for Budworth's actions against Jacobs in August, warranting his indictment.

"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. Schmidt told OPB Wednesday that his office is still investigating several other cases involving officer use of force during protests.

Another officer is under investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice for use of force during a protest, according to KOIN-TV.

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