Portland Police Association Executive Director Daryl Turner argued in a statement issued Friday that “roving gangs of black-clad rioters do not speak for the hundreds of thousands of residents and business owners of Portland who want a safe and clean city. Yet local politicians supported them.”
“These rioters, bent on destruction, hijacked social and racial justice movements,” he continued, before calling out Hardesty directly. “These rioters burned and looted our city. Yet local politicians supported them.”
“Instead of recognizing the value of public safety, peace and order, Commissioner Hardesty has used the occasion to promote a self-serving, anti-police, anti-public safety agenda,” Turner said. “Instead of defending our communities and the business owners whose livelihoods were destroyed by the riots, she continues to endorse violence. Plain and simple: Portlanders want our city back.”
Members of the Portland Police Bureau’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) resigned from their voluntary positions last week over the indictment of Officer Corey Budworth for allegedly assaulting a photographer with his police-issued baton when a riot was declared outside the Multnomah Building last August. Those some 50 officers keep their other assignments and remain employed by the police department.
Hardesty has since called on Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Council to formally disband the riot squad, arguing “these RRT resignations are yet another example of a rogue paramilitary organization that is unaccountable to the elected officials and residents of Portland.”
“Earlier this week, for the first time in Portland’s history, an officer from PPB’s Rapid Response Team was charged with a misdemeanor for assaulting a photojournalist during a protest last summer,” Hardesty said in a statement Thursday. “Ironically, we now see some PPB officers engaging in the act they showed so much disdain for last summer by staging their own protest.”