(breitbart) – The entire Portland Police Bureau Rapid Response Team voted to disband their group after a grand jury indicted one of their officers for allegedly striking an Antifa rioter last summer.
A statement released by the Portland Police Bureau on Wednesday night revealed that officers serving in voluntary positions with the Rapid Response Team resigned and “no longer form a team. The officers and sergeants remain in their regular duty positions within the bureau.
“The Rapid Response Team is an all-hazard incident response team that has received advanced specialized training to respond to incidents requiring higher levels of technical expertise including public order policing, natural or man-made disasters,” police officials stated. “The primary role has been to provide public safety at crowd events when there was a threat of harm to the community.”
The team members gathered Wednesday evening after a grand jury indicted their teammate, Officer Cody Budworth, for allegedly striking an Antifa rioter, the Oregonian reported.
The report continues:
Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt described Budworth’s baton strike as excessive force that was legally unjustified.
The district attorney also told The Oregonian/OregonLive Tuesday afternoon that he had asked the Oregon Department of Justice to review for potential criminal prosecution the force used by another Rapid Response Team member, Det. Erik Kammerer, during protests. His office, he said, continues to review other protest-related uses of force by officers.
The police union responded, saying the indictment was politically driven. Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner urged Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Hall to “stop using RRT members as political pawns.”
“Our RRT members do not volunteer to have Molotov cocktails, fireworks, explosives, rocks, bottles, urine, feces, and other dangerous objects thrown at them,” Turner said in a written statement. “Nor do they volunteer to have threats of rape, murder, and assaults on their families hurled at them. They do not volunteer to suffer serious injuries, to be subjected to warrantless criticism and face allegations by elected officials, or to suffer through baseless complaints and lengthy investigations devoid of due process.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler responded to the team’s resignation, saying:
I want to acknowledge the toll this past year has taken on them and their families—they have worked long hours under difficult conditions. 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. It is my expectation, and the community’s expectation, that the City remains committed to public safety and effective police oversight. City leaders will continue working in partnership with Portlanders, community organizations and police leadership to reform our community safety system.
The mayor reached out to Oregon Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon State Police for support. The governor said the State Police will deploy its mobile response team to stand by to assist Portland police officers if the need arises over the next few nights.