Portland Police Bureau employees serving on the Rapid Response team, which was made up of about 50 members, resigned in response to a fellow officer being indicted on one count of misdemeanor fourth-degree assault by the Multnomah County Grand Jury this month.
The Portland Police Bureau announced that each member of the Rapid Response Team left the voluntary position after receiving news of the indictment. Although they will no longer be serving in this capacity, they will continue their employment in their day-to-day assignments. The Rapid Response Team was a highly-trained group prepared for managing crowds, specifically when there was a threat to the safety of the public. The officer who has been indicted, Corey A. Budworth was charged with unjustifiable force, lacking in legal grounds [Police Bureau].
The plaintiff is Teri Jacobs, who claims she had been working as a photojournalist that night. She alleges that Budworth hit her face with a baton and knocked her to the ground in a violent manner during a protest on August 18, 2020. His actions last summer were caught on camera and uploaded to Twitter. In the video, he had a “37” on his helmet, dubbing him “Officer 37”. On September 23, Jacobs filed a civil rights and battery suit against the City of Portland, Officer 37, and other unnamed officers in the U.S. District Court in Portland. Budworth was placed on administrative leave on June 15 [Oregonian].
Police Chief Chuck Lovell released a statement on June 15 saying that, as police chief, he had a standard to uphold, but did not release any more details. In addition, he added the Portland Police Bureau remains committed to excellence and keeping the city of Portland safe. The police union stood by Budworth and stated the action, though wrong, was accidental and not criminal. Mayor Ted Wheeler released two separate statements: one regarding the indictment and the other regarding the exodus of the Rapid Response Team members.
In the former, he stated that he holds the Portland Police Bureau to a high standard and appreciates the investigative efforts of the bureau. He confirmed that he will make the final decision in terms of the punishment for Budorth and had nothing to say about at the time. In the second statement, he acknowledged that the past year has been difficult for cops and their families and that members of the Oregon State Police Mobile Response Team would be on standby [City of Portland].
ARTICLE: RITA VOGT
MANAGING EDITOR:CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WSWS.ORG
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