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Portland cops resign en masse from voluntary protest unit after officer charged with assault

Portland Protests
Posted at 6:00 AM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 09:00:52-04

PORTLAND, Ore. — Officers who serve on a specialized crowd-control unit in Portland, Oregon, and have responded to the city's ongoing, often violent protests have resigned en masse after criminal charges were filed against a team member.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the officers on the Rapid Response Team voted to resign from the team during a meeting Wednesday night.

According to the outlet, the officers serve on the team on a voluntary basis. The officers remain as sworn members of the Portland Police Department.

"Have I ever seen anything like this in my career? No, I don't think any of us have," Deputy Chief Chris Davis told the Oregonian.

The move by officers and sergeants to disband their own team came a day after a team member was indicted. He is accused of fourth-degree assault stemming from a baton strike against a protester last summer.

According to the Oregonian, the charge against the officer is the first time a Portland police officer has faced charges in connection with last year's protests.

The officer was placed on administrative leave on Thursday, according to ABC News.

The team has been on the front lines at social justice protests held in the city after the murder of George Floyd last year.

Two sources "close to the team" told ABC News that the officers chose to resign because the charge against their fellow officer showed "too much hostility towards their police work, and they did not see a way forward in being members of the team."