During a union meeting Thursday night, the team voted unanimously to disband while multiple officers have become the focus of investigations and even a criminal indictment.
The 50-person rapid response team that over the last year responded to hundreds of protests, demonstrations and riots all voted Wednesday night to resign from the volunteer unit.
All will remain officers at the bureau but the timing left many wondering: did this have to do with officers being charged or investigated from the team?
Acting Police Chief Chris Davis says no. He explained, “I think that really, this is the culmination of a very long process, and it’s not just an indictment that caused this to happen. I think this is, this really has very deep roots.”
In fact, he says, it’s a product of the last 14 months of nearly nonstop riots and protests.
Acting Portland Police Chief Chris Davis said, “I also understand the perspective that, you know, if you’ve put a human being through what they were put through, that takes a toll. And when there is, and, and I have to be, I have to honor their perspective in this situation and just understand where they’re coming from, that they’re not feeling like that sacrifice that they have made necessarily has been understood very well.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler reassured there will be help, should the city need it, saying in a statement: “I have spoken to governor brown, and the Oregon State Police is making members of its mobile response team available on standby. We are also coordinating with other regional law enforcement partners.”
The resignations came after Portland Police Officer Corey Budworth was accused of using excessive force during a protest and indicted on criminal charges.