The Portland Police Bureau's protest response unit has had a rough few weeks. First, one of its officers was indicted and now five more have resigned from the job over frustrations with their work environment. The first officer to be arrested is accused of kicking a protester who refused to disperse in June 2017 during an anti-Trump rally at City Hall Plaza on Nov 10th following Trump’s election victory
The department said in a statement that the officers “left their voluntary positions” on the Rapid Response Team on June 16, and “no longer comprise a team.”
The Rapid Response Team was comprised of about 50 employees, the agency said. The officers were serving on the team in addition to their regular duties and primary role is to "provide public safety at crowd events when there was a threat of harm."
Despite not being part of this elite squad, these cops are still doing what they do best: keeping people safe!
The resignations came after Portland police officer Corey Budworth was indicted in connection with an alleged assault during a confrontation against protesters demonstrating George Floyd’s murder last year.
Budworth, who has been on the response team for years now, faced charges of fourth-degree assault when he allegedly hit one woman in her head at a protest this past August.
The Mayor of Portland, Oregon has acknowledged the toll that protesters have had on police officers. In a statement, he said the past year was tough for those who dealt with 100 consecutive nights of protest coverage according to The Oregonian. They resigned due to feeling unsupported by City Hall and District Attorney after facing pressure from their jobs.
“I want to acknowledge the toll this past year has taken on them and their families — they have worked long hours under difficult conditions,” Wheeler said. “I personally heard from some of them today, and I appreciate their willingness to share their concerns about managing the many public gatherings that often were violent and destructive.”
Last month, five people were arrested during a march on the anniversary of Floyd’s death after demonstrating turned destructive.
The situation became even more volatile when protesters clashed with police officers and threw bottles at them
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