About 50 officers in the Portland, Oregon, police force have quit the crowd-control squad tasked with handling protests. The officers aren’t quitting their jobs—they’re just leaving the Rapid Response Team, an extra duty they volunteer for on top of their regular duties, per the AP. The team quit en masse after a member, Corey Budworth, was indicted on assault charges. Budworth is accused of slamming his baton into the face of a protester in August 2020, the Washington Post reports. Portland Police’s RRT has been the subject of multiple civil lawsuits, too, the Oregonian reports. Portland has been the site of frequent protests and demonstrations since the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.
Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, said Oregon State Police and other local law enforcement agencies would fill the gap, CNN reports. “We’ll use the resources we have,” Deputy Chief Chris Davis said. Wheeler also said in a statement that he wanted to acknowledge that the team have worked “long hours under difficult conditions.” According to a report from the US Department of Justice, Portland police used force more than 6,000 times between May 29 and Nov. 15, 2020, per the Washington Post. In a statement made after the resignations, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said, “We cannot expect the community to trust law enforcement if we hold ourselves to a lower standard.” (Read more Portland stories.)