“He faced a violent and chaotic, rapidly evolving situation, and he used the lowest level of baton force — a push; not a strike or a jab”
The entire Portland Police Department’s riot team resigned after Officer Corey Budworth’s indictment for allegedly assaulting a photographer in 2020 during a Black Lives Matter protest.
On June 15, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced his office charged Budworth “with one count of fourth degree assault, a misdemeanor, for physically injuring someone during an Aug. 18, 2020, protest.”
“In this case, we allege that no legal justification existed for Officer Budworth’s deployment of force, and that the deployment of force was legally excessive under the circumstances,” Schmidt said in a statement on Tuesday. “My office will continue to do everything we can to ensure justice is done without error or delay and that we make sure our work and practices are rooted in fairness and equity.”
Response From the Police
The Portland Police Bureau statement suggested the resignations began immediately on June 16. The 50 officers returned to their “primary roles as employees.”
The Portland Police Association (PPA) released its statement on Budworth’s indictment on Tuesday.
From Fox News:
“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 Tuesday after a Multnomah County grand jury charged Budworth with one count of fourth-degree assault related to the Aug. 18, 2020, incident.
That night, according to the police union, about 200 demonstrators – many equipped with tactical helmets, faces covered, and armed with a variety of weapons – descended on the Multnomah Building in southeast Portland. Multiple dumpsters were set on fire, buildings were defaced, and windows were broken. A riot soon was declared at the planned event after someone from the crowd launched a Molotov cocktail into the building, setting it ablaze.
“After nearly 75 consecutive nights of violence, destruction, and mayhem, a small group of RRT (Rapid Response Team) officers — including Officer Budworth — were again tasked with dealing with the riot,” the Portland Police Association said. “Per PPB Command Staff orders, RRT officers cleared the rioters from the area to allow the Fire Bureau to extinguish the blaze. But the rioters were not satisfied.”
The union claimed the rioters regrouped and knocked Budworth to the ground as they marched towards the building. Some tried to stop officers from arresting one person.
Officers had to use “pepper spray and less lethal munitions as the crowd grew more aggressive”:
“RRT officers, including Officer Budworth, used their Police Bureau-issued batons to try and stop the crowd’s criminal activity,” the union’s description of events continued. “Per his training and in response to the active aggression of a rioter interfering with a lawful arrest, Officer Budworth used baton pushes to move a rioter, now known to be Teri Jacobs, out of the area.”
Fox News mentioned a video of Budworth hitting Jacobs on the head from behind that went viral on social media:
Cop 37 shoves woman hitting her from behind in the head with baton, then hits her again in the face with baton while she is sitting on the ground pic.twitter.com/t4phwbWpsK
— John #FreePalestine (@Johnnthelefty) August 19, 2020
The union described the incident as an accident. They noted Budworth “used the lowest level of baton force”:
“Reasonably believing that she was getting back up to re-engage in her unlawful activities, Officer Budworth employed one last baton push to try and keep her on the ground, which accidentally struck Ms. Jacobs in the head,” the union said. “The location of Officer Budworth’s last baton push was accidental, not criminal. He faced a violent and chaotic, rapidly evolving situation, and he used the lowest level of baton force — a push; not a strike or a jab — to remove Ms. Jacobs from the area.”
The association accused Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office of playing politics with Budworth by ignoring “the violent nature of the crowd and Ms. Jacob’s criminal activity.”
“Officer Budworth did exactly as he was trained,” said the PPA. “Don’t just take our word for it; PPB’s own experts reviewed his actions and found them reasonable, permissible, and in accordance with his training.”DONATE
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