Portland police's rapid response team resigns after year of civil unrest

James Marshall
June 19, 2021

We are also proud of the federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who continue to respond to Portland demonstrations to ensure all community members can exercise their First Amendment rights safely and without the threat of violence.

Deal. Portland's entire Rapid Response Team, cops who volunteer for riot control duty, voted unanimously to resign on Wednesday, effectively leaving the city in the hands of antifa. As law enforcement officials, we recognize that community members and law enforcement officers alike are responsible for their conduct and that our judicial system is created to address wrongdoing equally, whether by community members or law enforcement officers.

In October, Former President of the Police Union, and Presiding Executive Director, Daryl Turner emphasized that "members [of the protest response unit] do not volunteer to have Molotov cocktails, fireworks, explosives, rocks, bottles, urine, feces and other risky objects thrown at them".

The Epoch Times has reached out to the Portland Police Bureau for comment.

"Officer Budworth did exactly as he was trained", said the PPA. "I remain deeply concerned these RRT resignations are yet another example of a rogue paramilitary organization that is unaccountable to the elected officials and residents of Portland". "Per PPB Command Staff orders, RRT officers cleared the rioters from the area to allow the Fire Bureau to extinguish the blaze". "I want to acknowledge the toll this past year has taken on them and their families-they have worked long hours under hard conditions". "I personally heard from some of them today, and I appreciate their willingness to share their concerns about managing the many public gatherings that often were violent and destructive".

In November, a city report found that a majority of Portland's police officers had "not received any recent skills training in crowd management, de-escalation, procedural justice, crisis intervention, or other critical skills for preventing or minimizing the use of force".

Team members, which have been deployed to respond to recurrent uprisings that have taken place in the city since last summer, were reportedly disaffected by a lack of support from City Hall and from the district attorney. Neither the mayor's office or the PPB have confirmed this reasoning to the Mercury.

"All that being said, as your police bureau, we are committed to providing the community the best service that we can", Davis said.

"Unfortunately, this decorated public servant has been caught in the crossfire of agenda-driven city leaders and a politicized criminal justice system", read the press statement.

Federal police face off with protesters in front of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland as the city experiences another night of unrest on July 27, 2020 in Portland, Oregon.

Earlier this week, a grand jury chose to indict Portland police officer Corey Budworth with one count of fourth-degree assault - the first RTT member to face criminal prosecution stemming from the protests.

The riot cops' decision follows the criminal indictment of one of their own for assault, stemming from a riot in August 2020, a police source told The Post Millennial.

PPA has always been critical of Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt's handling of racial justice protests, accusing him of acting too lenient towards protesters who damage property, start fires, or taunt police.

In a statement released after the indictment, District Attorney Mike Schmidt said, "In this case, we allege that no legal justification existed for Officer Budworth's deployment of force, and that the deployment of force was legally excessive under the circumstances".

Budworth is not the only RRT officer under investigation for their actions during the 2020 protests.

The Portland Police have also been criticized for using excessive force against protesters. Schmidt told OPB Wednesday that his office is still investigating several other cases involving officer use of force during protests.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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