The Rapid Response Team of Portland, Oregon chose to disband after one of their one was indicted. Officer Cody Budworth is accused of fourth-degree assault stemming from a baton strike against a protester last summer.
The specialized crowd control unit, tasked with managing the city’s ongoing protests, consisted of 70 officers just one year ago. That number dwindled over the past 12 months, and as of Thursday (June 17), Oregonlive.com reported that the remaining 50 officers, detectives and sergeants disbanded from the team one day after Budworth’s indictment was handed down.
“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 in a statement earlier this week following a grand jury’s decision.
For the City of Portland, it was a historic court decision and an unprecedented response from a police team: Budworth marked the first Rapid Response Team officer to face prosecution stemming from force used during a protest.
“Have I ever seen anything like this in my career? No, I don’t think any of us have,” said Deputy Chief Chris Davis.
The officers will continue to work as members of the Portland Police Bureau but no longer serve on the response team. The team’s use of force has resulted in numerous civil lawsuits in state and federal court, sanctions from a judge and this week’s indictment.
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