Entire Portland Police crowd control unit resigns after officer indicted

Members of a specialized Portland, Oregon, police unit that deals with crowd control have resigned from the assignment en masse a day after a fellow officer was indicted on an assault charge stemming from alleged illegal use of force during a protest last year.

The Portland Police Bureau’s Rapid Response Team, which is primarily responsible for providing public safety at crowd events, consisted of approximately 50 officers, all of whom resigned Wednesday, the bureau announced. The assignment is voluntary and the officers will remain on the force and continue their regular assignments, the bureau said.

The mass resignation comes a day after a grand jury indicted Portland Police Bureau Officer Corey Budworth on one count of fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, for what prosecutors allege was an “excessive and unlawful use of force” during a protest in August 2020.

Budworth, who at the time was on the bureau’s Rapid Response Team, is accused of striking a woman in the head with a baton during an Aug. 18, 2020, demonstration outside the Multnomah Building. 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.

The Portland Police Bureau placed Budworth on administrative leave Tuesday, officials said.

The officers, detectives and sergeants on the Rapid Response Team voted to offer their resignation from the assignment at a meeting Wednesday night, Acting Chief Chris Davis said during a press briefing.

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