Police crowd-control team in Portland resigns after officer indicted

Police crowd-control team in Portland resigns after officer indicted
Portland was shaken by weeks of demonstrations following the death of George Floyd last year. Source: GETTY IMAGES
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Daily US Times: Every member of a police crowd-control team in Portland has resigned after one of its officers was indicted on an assault charge.

The charge stemmed from violent anti-racism protests that rocked the US city of Portland, in the state of Oregon last year.

Prosecutors allege the police officer used “excessive and unlawful use of force” against a protester in August 2020, but the police union of Portland described the decision to prosecute the officer as “politically driven”.

The crowd-control team comprised about 50 police officers. The unit is also known as the Rapid Response Team (RRT). They serve in the team voluntarily and are deployed during events such as large-scale searches, riots or disaster situations.

Portland police said in a statement that members had “left their voluntary positions and no longer comprise a team”. It said the officers would continue in their regular assignments.

Portland experienced weeks of protests against police brutality and racism following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May.

Amid widespread vandalism, rioting and arson that often took place at night, the RTT was sent in to disperse crowds.

The then Trump administration also sent federal security forces to Portland in July to protect federal buildings that were being vandalised. However, their deployment exacerbated civil unrest, especially when footage emerged of protesters being grabbed off the street by federal officers and forced into unmarked cars.

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