On Wednesday, 50 of Portland police's highly trained rapid response unit voted unanimously to resign in response to the recent indictment of Officer Corey Budworth. Budsworth is facing a charge for allegedly assaulting a photographer during a protest in August.
The team that resigned served on a specialized Oregon crowd-control unit and was called to respond to protests in Portland.
During a Wednesday night union meeting, detectives, officers, and sergeants on the Rapid Response Team voted to quit the team due to a perceived lack of support from the district attorney and from City Hall over the past year after over 100 consecutive nights of protest coverage, indicated the mayor's office and officers and reported ABC News.
The indictment of one of the group's policemen seemed to be the last nail in the coffin, reported Oregon Live, and the resignations were implemented immediately, as indicated by the Portland Police Bureau.
Lack of Support
The Portland Police Bureau's Rapid Response Team is primarily responsible for ensuring public safety at crowd events. The assignment is voluntary and the policemen will remain on the force, pushing through with their regular assignments, according to the bureau.
Officer Corey Budworth was arraigned for one count of fourth-degree assault by a grand jury for allegedly using a baton on a freelance photojournalist during a protest on August 18 last year, reported Koin.
Around 70 members comprised the group one year ago. A team lieutenant was called by Chief Chuck Lovell in order to inform him the members of the team, who serve voluntarily in the designations, voted to resign.
According to the Portland Police Association in a statement on Tuesday, "Unfortunately, this decorated public servant has been caught in the crossfire of agenda-driven city leaders and a politicized criminal justice system," reported Daily Mail.
According to the police union, that evening, a team of an estimated 200 protesters went to the Multnomah Building and defaced properties, including breaking windows. Multiple dumpsters were allegedly set on fire by the crowd. Many of those in the crowd came with covered faces and equipped with tactical helmets, as well as armed with varied weapons, the police said.
Footage of the incident was posted on social media platforms. Budworth appears to push Teri Jacobs and then struck her in the head with his baton. According to Jacobs, she was attacked despite having a press card. The police, on the other hand, said that she was part of the unruly crowd and that Budsworth's actions were justified.
A riot was later declared at the planned event after an individual from the crowd launched a Molotov cocktail into the Multnomah Building. This ignited a fire.
The mass resignation from the unit also comes at the heels of a state Justice Department review of another detective on the team, which was announced previously on Wednesday.