(PresidentialWire.com)- The executive director of the Portland Police Association said recently that elected officials in the city “encouraged and enabled some of the violence” that occurred over the last year.
Daryl Turner said the role of the city officials during the 150 days of rioting in Portland is part of the reason why every member of Portland’s Rapid Response Team resigned from their positions.
A statement released by the Portland Police Bureau said all 50 members of the riot squad resigned effective last week. It isn’t clear what the city’s law enforcement response would be to any future demonstrations or riots in the city.
Turner did say, though, that the officers have only resigned from voluntary positions with the Rapid Response Team. He said they will all “still be doing the same job,” and will “be ordered to do the same job, just a little bit different.”
Chris Davis, the deputy chief of the Portland police department, said they will do everything they can to ensure there are “as close to adequate resources as we can get within just the limits that we have to deal with anything that comes up with on-duty resources.”
The resignation of the officers came after Officer Corey Budworth was indicted last week for his role in last summer’s riots. The incident in question saw Budworth allegedly assault a photographer.
A grand jury in Multnomah County officially charged the officer with one count of assault (fourth-degree) for his role in the incident that took place on August 18 of last year.
According to the PPA, on that night, roughly 200 demonstrators surrounded the Multnomah Building in Portland. Many had tactical helmets and face coverings on, and were armed with weapons. They set dumpsters on fire, broke windows and defaced buildings.
The incident was declared a riot after someone threw a Molotov cocktail, setting the building on fire.
As the PPA said:
“After nearly 75 consecutive nights of violence, destruction and mayhem, a small group of RRT (Rapid Response Team) officers — including Officer Budworth — were again tasked with dealing with the riot. Per PPB Command Staff orders, RRT officers cleared the rioters from the area to allow the Fire Bureau to extinguish the blaze. But the rioters were not satisfied.”
Despite being cleared from the area, the union said the rioters then re-grouped and marched back to the building. As the team was trying to clear the area, Budworth “was forcefully knocked to the ground,” as the officers began to use pepper spray to settle down the crowd, which had become aggressive.
Several of the rioters even interfered with an officer who was trying to place one rioter under arrest. The PPA described the events further:
“RRT officers, including Officer Budworth, used their Police Bureau-issued batons to try and stop the crowd’s criminal activity. Per his training and in response to the active aggression of a rioter interfering with a lawful arrest, Officer Budworth used baton pushes to move a rioter, now known to be Teri Jacobs, out of the area.”