Justin Bullock, FISM News
Approximately 50 police officers and staff resigned from Portland Police’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) because one of their fellow officers on the team was indicted by a grand jury for his actions during a riot last summer. This number represents the totality of employees assigned to the RRT. The RRT is tasked with crowd control operations during riots and other violent demonstrations which have seen a massive influx, particularly in Portland, since the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota last year.
Portland Police told the press in a statement:
On June 16, 2021, Portland Police Bureau employees serving as members of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) left their voluntary positions and no longer comprise a team…
The employees who resigned will continue serving in other positions with Portland Police, but in light of the continuing riots that plague Portland, the police will have to reconstruct the RRT from essentially nothing.
Corey Budworth was the Portland officer who was indicted with an assault misdemeanor and will face court proceedings in the coming days. The grand jury found that Budworth exercised excessive aggression and unlawful force during a protest turned riot last summer. Budworth’s indictment represents the first of its kind in Oregon as a result of a police response to protests and riots.
The members of the RRT expressed that they believe that Budworth’s indictment constitutes political retribution as Portland has long been one of the major locations where residents have protested police brutality and even called for the abolition of the police entirely. The Portland Police Association support the former members of the RRT in their decision to resign and also share the view that Budworth’s indictment reflects a politically driven decision rather than one of impartial justice.