Officers that served on the Portland Police Bureau’s protest response unit resigned on Thursday following the indictment of one of its officers, the department said.
The department said in a statement that the officers “left their voluntary positions” on the Rapid Response Team on June 16, and “no longer comprise a team.”
The team was comprised of about 50 employees, the agency said. The officers were serving on the team in addition to their regular duties.
The team’s primary role was to “provide public safety at crowd events when there was a threat of harm to the community,” the department said.
Despite not being on the Rapid Response Team, the officers are still on duty in their regular assignments.
The resignations came after Portland police officer Corey Budworth was indicted in connection with an alleged assault during a confrontation with protesters demonstrating against George Floyd’s murder last year.
Budworth, who was a member of the response team, was charged with fourth-degree assault for allegedly striking a woman in the head during a protest in August.
According to The Oregonian, the response team resigned because they didn’t feel supported by City Hall and the district attorney after facing more than 100 consecutive nights of protest coverage.
Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) said in a statement that he acknowledges the toll the past year has taken on the police officers.
p class=”p1″>“I want to acknowledge the toll this past year has taken on them and their families — they have worked long hours under difficult conditions,” Wheeler said. “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.”
Portland became a flashpoint of civil unrest after Floyd was killed at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin last May.
Last month, five people were arrested during a march on the anniversary of Floyd’s death after the demonstration turned destructive.