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Portland Auditor To Hire Expert To Look Into Chasse Case

The City of Portland’s auditor says she’s going to hire a nationally-recognized expert to look into the internal police investigation of the death of James Chasse. Kristian Foden-Vencil reports.

The audit will not look at officers’ conduct or the facts surrounding Chasse’s death. But it will look into how the internal investigation was conducted and why it took three years.

Mary-Beth Baptista, the head of the auditor’s Independent Police Review Division, says the effort has the full backing of the city council.

Mary-Beth Baptista: “We have not historically focused on one investigation but this is a case that clearly has some unique characteristics to it. So, we feel like it’s the right thing to do. Our goal is to identify strategies for reducing in custody deaths in these kind of incidents in the future.”

The Independent Police Review Division is supposed to do a yearly investigation into deaths in police custody and officer involved shootings.

Since 2002 it has done four investigations looking into dozens of deaths.

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