Approximately 50 officers from the Portland Police Bureau’s Rapid Response Team resigned on Wednesday, one day after a member of the team was indicted on charges of assaulting a protester in 2020.
The mass resignation comes amid a law and order backlash against criminal justice reform movements and widespread racial activist protests, which at times turned violent last summer.
Critics say groups such as Black Lives Matter ignore the realities of everyday policing while demonizing law enforcement in service to a craven political agenda.
According to a department press release, the officers who comprised the voluntary unit will continue in their regular assignments.
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced a day before the resignations that Rapid Response Team officer Corey Budworth had been indicted on a charge of assault in the fourth degree.
According to Schmidt’s office, Budworth used excessive force during a political protest last August.
The Portland Police Association, a union which represents the officers, issued a statement on Friday in support of the Rapid Response Team members’ decision, praising officers for performing their duties amid the nightly chaos in Portland from violent protests and riots.
“Yesterday, the entire Portland Police Bureau Rapid Response Team resigned from their voluntary positions. Until now, they have continued to come to work every day, exhausted and injured. The only glue holding the team together was their commitment, dedication, and integrity to serve their communities. But that glue dissolved when political venom demonized these public servants for doing exactly what they were tasked to do—restore peace and order in our City,” the association said in a Facebook post.