Portland Police Quit Crowd Control Team Following Each of Their Own Is Indicted for Assault Throughout 2020 Protest

Portland police officers that were members of a specialized crowd-control team have resigned from their positions after one officer to the group was indicted for an alleged assault during an August 2020 protest.
Video indicates that on August 18, 2020, Portland police officer Corey Budworth struck the back of a woman’s head with his baton as she was running away from him. The woman fell, at which point Budworth struck her on her mind, according to the video.
The woman, Teri Jacobs, sued the city in September 2020, and also in April of 2021 settled for about $50,000.
But that wasn’t the end for Budworth, that on Tuesday was indicted on a misdemeanor charge of fourth degree assault for”unlawfully and intentionally, knowingly and recklessly caus[ing] physical harm.” When convicted, Budworth can face as much as a year in prison and a $6,250 fine.
Budworth’s colleagues on the crowd-control group resigned the following day.
“On June 16, 2021, Portland Police Bureau personnel serving as members of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) left their voluntary positions and no longer comprise a group,” the Portland police said in a statement Thursday, including there were approximately 50 people on the team.
“The Rapid Response Team is an all-hazard incident response staff that has received advanced specialized training to react to incidents requiring higher levels of technical expertise including public order policing, natural or man-made disasters,” the announcement said. “The main role is to present public safety at crowd events at which there was a danger of injury to the community. All Rapid Response Team members have been trained in advanced skills related to crowd management and audience management involving crowd psychology and behaviour, team formations and movements, the use of enhanced personal protective equipment, use of force, de-escalation, and arrests.”
The mass resignation is reminiscent of those actions of police in Buffalo, New York, in which officers on the town’s Emergency Response Team were spotted shoving 75-year-old Martin Gugino to the floor last June. The two officials involved in the event were suspended without pay, and almost 60 of those officers’ colleagues resigned the same day from the ERT in protest of their suspensions.
The Portland Police Association, the union that represents the town’s officers, called Budworth’s indictment a”politically driven charging decision,” stating that”this decorated public servant has been caught in the crossfire of agenda-driven city leaders and a politicized criminal justice system”
The PPA also called Budworth striking Jacobs”accidental, criminal.”
Mike Smith, the Multnomah County District Attorney, said in a statement Thursday that he arouses the Portland Police Bureau to do its job regardless of the mass resignation.
“Control and staffing of this Rapid Response Team falls within the purview of the leadership of the Portland Police Bureau,” Smith said. “I have confidence that the Bureau will carry on their assignment to maintain public safety. Meanwhile, my office will continue to focus on the fair and prosecution of criminal matters.”
“We cannot expect the community to trust law enforcement should we hold ourselves to a lower standard,” Smith added.
According to The Oregonianthis is the very first time that a Portland police officer has faced prosecution for either striking or firing at someone during a demonstration, and only the second time a police officer has been indicted for such bodily use of force on duty. Smith advised Oregon Public Broadcasting his office is currently reviewing multiple use-of-force episodes coming from the 2020 protests.
Budworth’s arraignment is set for July 12.
See Budworth’s indictment, below.
[Picture by Ankur Dholakia / AFP through Getty Images]
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