Portland Officer Apologizes for Hitting Photographer During 2020 Racial Justice Protest

PORTLAND, Ore., (AP) - A Portland, Oregon, police officer issued a video Tuesday apologizing for hitting a photograph in the head during the 2020 protests in Minneapolis over the police killing of George Floyd.

KGW-TV reported that prosecutors dismissed a fourth-degree misdemeanor charge of assault against Portland Police Bureau officer Corey Budworth. Budworth stated in the video that he met Teri Jacobs, an independent photographer, through a restorative process.

Budworth stated that the force used by Jacobs against Budworth on August 18, 2020 could have been avoided.

In the video, he apologizes to Jacobs for hitting her in the head unnecessarily with his baton. He also says that he had privately apologized to Jacobs.

The officer acknowledged that the relationship between the police and certain members of the local community was strained.

He said: 'I am aware that the harm caused by Ms. Jacobs was not limited only to her. It was felt throughout the community, where there was great distrust in law enforcement.

Budworth said that he is also committed to making positive changes in the entire police bureau.

Budworth was then assigned to Portland Police Bureau Rapid Response Team which dealt with protests. Budworth's charge in June 2021 led the team to resign.

In a video posted on social media, the officer was identified only by the number on his helmet. He ran and hit the woman's back with a baton. The police had declared the gathering to be unlawful and ordered everyone to disperse.

In the video, the officer is seen knocking Jacobs to the ground and striking her on the head again while she's lying down.

Jacobs brought a civil lawsuit against Portland for violating her civil rights. The city settled the case by paying her $50,000.

Jacobs said in a written statement that she was grateful to have the chance to speak directly to him about how his actions affected her and continue to do so through the restorative process. Jacobs wrote in a statement that, although it couldn't change the events of that night, he had admitted his actions to be wrong and promised to improve himself as well as help make changes to the PPB to prevent future police brutality.

Budworth will return to work soon. A Portland police spokesperson confirmed that Budworth has been on administrative leaves since June 2021. After the criminal case is resolved, the police bureau will begin an internal investigation.

Portland was the epicenter for Black Lives Matter protests during summer 2020. Many of these protests turned into violent clashes between police officers.

In a Tuesday statement, Multnomah County district attorney Mike Schmidt stated that 2020 would be a challenging year and that the community hasn't fully recovered from the trauma.

He said, "This case is a turning-point." This resolution is a brave demonstration of how healing can be achieved through restorative justice. If a policeman and a demonstrator can come together to dialogue, understand, and heal, then I believe that our city can do the same.