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Officers, sergeants resign en masse from Portland’s Rapid Response Team crowd control unit
The RRT is a voluntary unit of the Portland Police Bureau. Officers on the team do not receive extra pay and still work their regular assigned duties. They will return to doing their regular duties, but the RRT has been disbanded. There was an emergency meeting scheduled with the mayor to begin at 9 a.m. this morning with the Chief, and other officers, to include the PPB union rep.
The unprecedented move by officers and sergeants to disband their own team came a day after a team member, Officer Cody Budworth, was indicted, accused of fourth-degree assault stemming from a baton strike against a protester last summer. A year ago, about 70 members comprised the team.
A team lieutenant called Chief Chuck Lovell to inform him the members of the team, who serve voluntarily in the assignments, voted to resign due to perceived lack of support from City Hall and from the district attorney over the past year during more than 100 consecutive nights of protest coverage, according to the mayor’s office and officers.
The District Attorney, a Soros type prosecutor, is seen as an anti-police prosecutor:
The Rapid Response Team members also have been frustrated by the number of protest-related prosecutions that were rejected by the district attorney’s office. As of late January, the office had rejected almost three-quarters of 1,057 protest-related arrests referred by police.
The city is also finding it difficult reestablishing the Gun Violence Reduction Team.
Further, any urgency to create a new uniformed, proactive policing team to try to combat the city’s gun violence has not materialized, with less than a handful of officers volunteering to serve on a team that the police chief had anticipated would include two sergeants and 12 officers.
There have been more than 100 nights of violence in Portland.
The union president urged the mayor and City Hall to “stop using RRT members as political pawns,” and called the team’s members “exhausted and injured.” He wrote then that the “only glue holding their team together’’ was their “commitment to serve their city.”
“Our RRT members do not volunteer to have Molotov cocktails, fireworks, explosives, rocks, bottles, urine, feces and other dangerous objects thrown at them,” wrote Daryl Turner, then president of the union. He noted that the team members volunteer for the work without any specialty pay.
“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.”
“These officers find themselves in a no-win situation. They are told to stand down and only intervene when things have gotten so out of control that they have no other option than to use high levels of force to regain control of unlawful demonstrations,” Turner wrote. “They are criticized for their perceived inaction on the front end and are criticized for their inevitable use of force on the back end. They can’t win because of the position others have put them in.’’
There’s always happy talk from the media and city hall of a downtown Portland resurgence. That’s not going to happen with night after night of rioting. Portland will not get any help from Washington or Clackamas County. The Sheriff in each of these counties has already said they will not put their deputies at risk in an anti-police city, and at the mercy of a perceived anti-police prosecutor.Published in