First Responders

Portland Cops Resign From Protest Response Unit After DA Indicts Officer

June 17, 2021Hannah Ray Lambert
Portland Oregon police reform bills

Police in Portland, Ore., respond to a protest Aug. 17, 2019. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.

Portland, Oregon, police officers resigned en masse Wednesday night from the unit responsible for policing protests after one member of their team was indicted for excessive force during civil unrest last year.

The resignations came on the heels of the indictment of police officer Corey Budworth on a misdemeanor charge of assault. According to Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, Budworth struck photojournalist Teri Jacobs on the head with a baton during a protest on Aug. 18, 2020. The indictment is the first against a police officer stemming from protests and riots last year in Portland, which lasted more than 100 consecutive days before petering out into less frequent disturbances and occupations.

Local police have made more than 1,000 arrests at protests and riots since they started in response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Almost 90% of those arrests have not resulted in prosecution, in part because of Schmidt’s policy of presumptively declining to prosecute the most common charges of interfering with an officer and disorderly conduct.

Mike Schmidt portland Multnomah county district attorney
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt. Photo courtesy of the Office of Mike Schmidt.

That policy, coupled with budget cuts and other measures enacted by the Portland City Council, has resulted in long-standing tension between officers and local leaders. Schmidt told The New York Times he met with the protest team late last year and was excoriated by officers.

“They were like, ‘Why are you doing this? Your policy is putting my life in danger,’” he told The Times. “‘You’ve emboldened the protesters by giving them this free pass that they can do whatever they want to us.’”

The DA’s office said it would continue investigating other cases of possible police misconduct during the 2020 protests.

The Portland Police Association — the union that represents Portland police — did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Update: The original version of this story has been updated to include the Portland Police Bureau’s confirmation of RRT resignations in a Thursday press release.

Read Next: Portland Police Officer Charged With Assault From 2020 Unrest

Hannah Ray Lambert
Hannah Ray Lambert

Hannah Ray Lambert is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die who previously covered everything from murder trials to high school trap shooting teams. She spent several months getting tear gassed during the 2020-2021 civil unrest in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not working, Hannah enjoys hiking, reading, and talking about authors and books on her podcast Between Lewis and Lovecraft.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
navy seal training
Navy SEALS Training Plagued by Massive Problems, According To Investigation

Medical oversight and care were “poorly organized, poorly integrated and poorly led and put candidat...

memorial day arlington
Memorial Day Is a Day of Remembrance, Not Celebration

Memorial Day was created as a remembrance to honor the fallen by decorating graves — a holiday meant...

air force joint chiefs
Air Force Fighter Pilot Tapped As Next Joint Chiefs Chairman Has History of Firsts

The Air Force fighter pilot about to be nominated as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ...

sowf special operations warrior foundation
BRCC Donates $500K to Special Operations Warrior Foundation

In an effort to continue Black Rifle Coffee Company’s mission of supporting the veteran community, B...

Coca Cola 600
BRCC to Honor Fallen Marine During NASCAR’s Legendary Coca-Cola 600

Black Rifle Coffee Company will honor Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Menusa during NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 this Memorial Day. Menusa was killed in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq.

uss gerald r. ford oslo
US Aircraft Carrier Arrives In NATO Member Norway, To Take Part In Drills

The nuclear-powered ship USS Gerald R. Ford entered the Oslo fjord escorted by a rapid dinghy-type boat with armed personnel on board.

adam driver indy 500
Marine Vet, Actor Adam Driver Named Honorary Starter for Indianapolis 500

Two-time Academy Award nominee Adam Driver, who will soon be starring as Enzo Ferrari in a biopic of...

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved