The entire Portland Police Bureau’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) has left their voluntary positions after an officer was indicted on a protest assault charge.
The team, which is responsible for providing public safety at crowd events when there was a threat of harm to the community, consisted of approximately 50 officers, all of whom resigned on June 16, the bureau announced.
Despite no longer serving as volunteers with RRT, the officers will continue with their regular assignments, the bureau said.
It comes just a day after Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced his team had indicted one member, Officer Corey Budworth, on one count of fourth-degree assault for physically injuring someone during an Aug. 18, 2020, protest.
“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,” Schmidt said in a statement on Tuesday. “My office will continue to do everything we can to ensure justice is done without error or delay and that we make sure our work and practices are rooted in fairness and equity.”
Schmidt noted that other use-of-force incidents are still under review and that his office has referred an investigation into Portland Police Det. Erik Kammerer’s use of force during protests to the Oregon State Department of Justice for review.
The indictment marks the first time a Portland police officer has faced prosecution for striking or firing at someone during a protest, according to The Oregonian.
Budworth was assigned to the Portland Police Bureau’s Rapid Response Team at the time of the alleged assault and prosecutors allege he used an “excessive and unlawful use of force” when he struck activist photographer Teri Jacobs in the head with a baton during a demonstration outside the Multnomah Building.