All the members of Portland’s Police Bureau Rapid Response have resigned after hearing a police officer will be charged for using excessive force on Aug. 18, 2020, after approximately 200 peaceful rioters had thrown a Molotov cocktail into the sheriff’s office.
During the night in question, many of the peaceful rioters wore tactical helmets and carried weapons and were trying to set fire to the police station. The police association stated the officer in question was responding to the alleged “aggression of a rioter interfering with a lawful arrest.”
It was the 75th consecutive night of rioting in Portland. On the 56th night of rioting, Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, had joined approximately 2,000 peaceful rioters as they tried to set fire to a federal courthouse. Mayor Wheeler was teargassed for his participation.
The riot team is a volunteer organization in the police department that provides a quick response to riots and other hazardous situations. The officers who are specially trained for these type of riot situations will return to their normal policing duties.
The police union argued that the decision to charge the police officer was politically motivated, stating in its news release:
“Our RRT members do not volunteer to have Molotov cocktails, fireworks, explosives, rocks, bottles, urine, feces, and other dangerous objects thrown at them.
“Nor do they volunteer to have threats of rape, murder, and assaults on their families hurled at them. They do not volunteer to suffer serious injuries, to be subjected to warrantless criticism and face allegations by elected officials, or to suffer through baseless complaints and lengthy investigations devoid of due process.”