On Wednesday, every single police officer on the city of Portland’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) submitted their resignations from the team, according to the Daily Caller.
All 50 officers from the RRT will continue to serve as regular police officers, but will no longer lend their services to the volunteer division that was aimed at combating riots and other forms of widespread unrest. In a press release announcing the resignations, the RRT described its “primary role” as being “to provide public safety at crowd events when there was a threat of harm to the community.” Its members were all trained in “crowd psychology and behavior, team formations and movements, the use of enhanced personal protective equipment, use of force, de-escalation, and arrests.”
The most likely motivation for the mass resignation was the recent indictment of one member of the RRT, Officer Corey Budworth, who faces a single charge of “assault in the fourth degree” after using force to stop a violent rioter in August of 2020.
Left-wing protests in Portland have caused roughly $2.3 million in damage to federal buildings since they broke out over the summer.
Portland was the epicenter of summer protests which included frequent riots, vandalism and clashes with law enforcement. The two months of near-nightly unrest centered on a federal courthouse downtown.
A group of rioters in Portland threatened to burn down a law enforcement precinct, hurled projectiles at officers and damaged police cruisers on Wednesday, authorities said.
Roughly 50 violent demonstrators, some of whom donned gas masks and shields, chanted “burn it down” in reference to a law enforcement headquarters in the city, according to a press release. Members of the crowd destroyed surveillance cameras outside of the precinct, tried to rip down a fence and used spikes to slash the tires of cop vehicles, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) wrote.
A group of violent demonstrators in Portland hurled “Molotovs cocktail-style firebombs”, lit fires and tried to break into a federal courthouse house on New Year’s Eve, authorities said.
Between 80 and 100 rioters tossed at least two firebombs and launched “aerial-grade fireworks” at both the federal building and a county justice facility, according to a press release from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). Others in the group attempted to break into the federal facility using tools, the department wrote.
The Justice Department explored whether it could pursue either criminal or civil rights charges against city officials in Portland, Oregon, after clashes erupted there night after night between law enforcement and demonstrators, a department spokesperson said Thursday.
The revelation that federal officials researched whether they could levy criminal or civil charges against the officials — exploring whether their rhetoric and actions may have helped spur the violence in Portland — underscores the larger Trump administration’s effort to spotlight and crack down on protest-related violence. The majority of the mass police reform demonstrations nationwide have been peaceful.
Portland has seen several months of demonstrations, fluctuating between protests and riots since the death of George Floyd. Downtown Portland has been scarred by the unrest with graffiti and wooden barricades protecting businesses evident across the area.
“Portland is a mess, and it has been for many years. If this joke of a mayor doesn’t clean it up, we will go in and do it for them!”
That was President Donald Trump on Twitter renewing his warning to Oregon Democratic Governor Kate Brown and Portland Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler that if they will not get political violence in Portland, Oreg. under control soon, he will have no other choice but to federalize the National Guard to restore civil order in the city.
Portland police are investigating whether a self-identified member of Antifa with two pending firearms charges was involved in the fatal shooting of a Trump supporter at a Black Lives Matter event on Saturday, one of his family members told reporters.
The Oregonian reported that Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, is a suspect in the shooting death of Jay Bishop, a member of Patriot Prayer, a conservative organization that has appeared at protests in the Portland area.