A former Portland police officer has been indicted over an alleged assault that took place during the George Floyd protests last year.
On Tuesday (June 15), the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office (MCDA) announced that a grand jury charged ex-Portland Police Bureau Officer Corey Budworth, who worked on the department’s Rapid Response Team, for allegedly assaulting a protester. The former cop is accused of striking Teri Jacobs in the head last August. Budworth was charged with one count of assault in the fourth degree.
The Portland Police Association (PPA) issued a statement backing Budworth’s actions. They claim that he accidentally struck the woman in the head.
The PPA claims he was “caught in the crossfire of agenda-driven city leaders and a politicized criminal justice system.”
“He faced a violent and chaotic, rapidly evolving situation, and he used the lowest level of baton force — a push; not a strike or a jab — to remove Ms. Jacobs from the area,” PPA continued.
In a statement, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said Budworth’s actions were criminal. “But when that line is crossed, and a police officer’s use of force is excessive and lacks a justification under the law, the integrity of our criminal justice system requires that we, as prosecutors, act as a mechanism for accountability,” he said.
Portland has been at the core of civil unrest between residents and the police since Floyd was murdered in May 2020 by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. In April, the ex-cop was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter for his involvement in Floyd’s death.
This year, many officers have been charged for the violent way they treated protesters last summer. In Ohio, several cops were indicted for allegedly assaulting protesters with pepper spray for no reason. In Louisville, Officer Cory Evans is facing one count of violating a person’s civil rights for allegedly hitting a kneeling protester in the head.