As many as 50 highly trained police officers in Portland's crowd control unit resigned this week after the fellow officer was indicted for allegedly assaulting a photographer during an overnight protest last year.
The mass resignation comes a day after police officer Corey Budworth was charged with one count of fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor by a grand jury. "Unfortunately, this decorated public servant has been caught in the crossfire of agenda-driven city leaders and a politicized criminal justice system," the Portland Police Association said on Tuesday, according to Fox News.
The mass resignation comes just a day after Officer Corey Budworth was indicted for using "excessive and unlawful force" during a protest last year in August.
What Officer Corey Budworth did on Aug. 18, 2020?
On the night of August 18, 2020, there were about 200 demonstrators taking part in the protests. According to the police union, many among them were equipped with tactical helmets, had faces covered, and armed with a variety of weapons – descended on the Multnomah Building in southeast Portland.
The protest turned violent as multiple dumpsters were set on fire, buildings were defaced, and windows were broken by the demonstrators during the planned protest. A riot was soon declared at the event after a protestor launched a Molotov cocktail into a building, setting it ablaze, according to reports.
Officer Budworth, who at the time was in the bureau's Rapid Response Team (RRT), had been accused of hitting a woman with a baton on her head during August. 18, 2020, riot outside the Multnomah Building.
According to the Oregonian, the indictment of Officer Budworth marks the debut of a Portland police officer facing prosecution for striking or using force on someone during a protest.
According to the union, Police officer Corey Budworth "was forcefully knocked to the ground" when officers deployed pepper spray and less lethal munitions to disperse the aggressive crowd marching back towards the building.
Budworth used baton pushes to move a rioter, Teri Jacobs out of the area. Jacobs, who is known to be an activist and photographer fell to the ground when Budworth struck her on the head from behind, according to a video that was quickly doing the rounds on social media that night.
However, the union stated RRT officers, including Officer Budworth, used their Police Bureau-issued batons to try and stop the crowd's criminal activity. The union further clarified that the blow to Jacobs's head was accidental and not criminal on Budworth's part. The statement released by the Portland Police Bureau indicated the mass resignations were effective.