The Portland police riot squad of 50 resigned Thursday to protest charges against a police officer who allegedly hit an independent journalist in the Black Lives Matter riots that lit a federal building ablaze in August, 2020.
The police union said nearly 200 rioters set upon the voluntary rapid response team and that, reportedly, Officer Corey Budworth unintentionally struck the activist in the head with a baton, believing the activist was a part of the riot.
Activist Teri “Jacobs was not charged with any crime, and was awarded a $50,000 settlement by the City of Portland over the incident,” the Daily Mail first reported. “Jacobs says she was attacked despite carrying a press card.”
The Portland Police Bureau wrote in a statement Tuesday, “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 also stated in defense of the charged officer that the night “escalated” and “was declared a riot; community members and police officers were at risk of serious injury and someone from the crowd launched a Molotov cocktail into the Multnomah Building, setting it ablaze.”
“After nearly 75 consecutive nights of violence, destruction, and mayhem, a small group of RRT officers — including Officer Budworth — were again tasked with dealing with the riot,” the Associated continued. “Per PPB Command Staff orders, RRT officers cleared the rioters from the area to allow the Fire Bureau to extinguish the blaze.”
“Once the full picture is revealed, we are confident that justice will prevail, and Officer Budworth will be exonerated of all charges,” the statement conceded.
ABC KATU reported activist Jacobs “was helping a friend who had fallen down when she felt an officer pushing her from behind during the August 2020 incident. She has said she was working as an independent journalist at the time and was wearing a press badge.”
KATU also reported in April, activists Jacobs also told KATU in April, “I’m doing my very best to get to the sidewalk, and it feels like it doesn’t matter where I am, what I do, these police officers are going to run me over, ram into me.”
“I really wasn’t aware of what was happening or the pain that I was in until I was on the sidewalk, and then I realized like, whoa, my back, my head, like what just happened there,” she said.