Portland Police Officer Indicted Over Alleged Use Of Force Against Protester
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A grand jury has returned an indictment against a Oregon police officer accusing him of hitting a Portland protester in the head with a baton in 2020.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the indictment marks the first time in Multnomah County that a Portland officer has been prosecuted stemming from force used during a protest.
Months of demonstrations over racial injustice last year led to accusations that officers were heavy-handed in their response.
The indictment charges Corey Budworth with misdemeanor fourth-degree assault.
The Associated Press has emailed Budworth’s lawyer, Nicole L. Robbins, for comment.
The police union called the prosecution politically-driven, and said Budworth’s baton strike to a woman’s head was “accidental,” not criminal.
Here’s a statement from Portland Mayor and Police Commissioner Ted Wheeler:
Today, a Multnomah County grand jury indicted Portland police officer Corey Budworth on one count of misdemeanor fourth-degree assault, which arose out of a use of force incident at an August 2020 protest. The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) placed Officer Budworth on administrative leave today.
I take this matter very seriously. As Mayor, I hold Portland Police Bureau members to a very high standard of professional conduct.
Our city experienced over 170 days of protests following the murder of George Floyd, and I also want to acknowledge that our officers faced great risk and protected our city in extreme conditions.
I appreciate PPB’s investigative efforts regarding this case, and I thank Police Chief Chuck Lovell for his work to improve policies and training to ensure PPB provides professional and compassionate police services to our community.
Under the law, all who face charges in our criminal justice system are innocent until proven guilty. Out of respect for due process and the fact that I am the final decisionmaker in all PPB disciplinary matters, I have no further statement to make at this time.