All members of Portland’s Police Bureau’s rapid response team resigned recently.
The rapid response unit, a volunteer force of police officers who respond to civil unrest and riots made a unanimous vote during a police union meeting to step down after officer Corey Budworth was indicted.
The police union responded to the indictment charge by saying that Budworth was a “decorated public servant” who got “caught in the crossfire” of both the “politicized criminal justice system,” and “agenda-driven city leaders.”
Budworth, was a member of the rapid response unit which arrived to manage the antifa-led riot of Aug. 18 2020. Protestors threw objects including an arsonist’s Molotov cocktail at the county sheriff’s department that evening.
In the act of dispersing the riot, Budworth allegedly hit Teri Jacobs, rioter and activist photographer, with a baton. Video record of the incident led to his indictment and a charge of a single count of fourth degree assault. The misdemeanor was handed out for “unlawfully, knowingly. . . recklessly causing physical injury.”
Budworth’s application of force was deemed “legally excessive” according to the office of Mike Schmidt, who is the Multnomah District Attorney.
Schmidt said on Tuesday that they deemed “no legal justification” for Officer Budworth’s use of force and thereby classified it as “legally excessive [given] the circumstances.” Schmidt added that his office was committed to “ensure justice. . . rooted in fairness and equity.”
The Portland Police Bureau’s internal investigation of the incident deemed that Budworth’s strike with the baton was “not intentional.”
The indictment of Budworth came about following Jacob’s filing of a civil rights and battery suit in September.
Jacob’s attorney, Juan Chavez argued that “Jacobs posed no threat. . . had not committed any crime,” and also was not in the process of being arrested. Chavez argues that when officer Budworth noticed that he was being recorded “committing this vile act,” that he “quickly composed himself” and left the scene. Chavez argues that the entire department eschewed justice because they watched the incident without intervention and allowed their comrade to leave the scene after violently assaulting Jacobs.
According to court documents, the city agreed to pay Jacobs $50,000 as settlement plus $11,000 for attorney fees.
Author: Victor Mack