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The family and lawyers of James Chasse will receive $1.6 million after the City of Portland approved the biggest law enforcement settlement in its history.
Attorneys who worked on the James Chasse case unveiled a list Monday of what they say are untruths the police told to cover-up the botched arrest.
Portland’s Mayor and Police Chief received a petition from 250 people Thursday demanding the release of the city’s internal investigation into the death of James Chasse.
A half-dozen mental health organizations from around Oregon are coming together to press three Portland police officers to resign over the James 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.
Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer, has recommended that one of the officers involved in the arrest of James Chasse -- who died in police custody -- be suspended.
Mental health advocates, friends and family members mourned the anniversary Monday of the death of James Chasse, Jr. He died in downtown Portland one year ago, after being chased, tackled to the ground and beaten by three police officers. Police have instigated a number of new policies since the incident, but many Portlanders remain upset about what they see as a case of police brutality toward a mentally ill man.
James Chasse was not a name most people knew before he died — at least most people unfamiliar with the early punk rock scene in Portland. Chasse suffered from mental illness, but filmmaker Brian Lindstrom told me that his death in police custody did not reflect a failure of the mental health system. On the contrary, Chasse was in many ways a success story — at least, before his death. Rather, Lindstrom says, the tragedy involves failures on a bigger and more disturbing scale.
Thursday marks the first day of the 36th Portland International Film Festival. Opening night features the Spanish silent film Blancanieves, an interpretation of the "Snow White" fairytale. The Festival also features the premiere of much-anticipated local film Alien Boy — a film about James Chasse, a young man with schizophrenia who was beaten by Portland Police and died in law enforcement custody. And, of course, there is a plethora (pdf) of foreign films to check out. We'll get recommendations on what films will be the best bets at PIFF.
Northwest police officers have been in the news a fair amount recently, but not the kind of news they want. In Portland, the case of a 12-year-old girl who was shot with a beanbag gun while resisting arrest received international attention. And the James Chasse case, now more than three years old, still reverberates with disciplinary recommendations. (You can listen to a previous show we did about Chasse's death here.) Meanwhile, there have been a few high-profile attacks on officers in the region. On Sunday, four police officers from Lakewood, south of Tacoma, were killed in a coffee shop. Last month, a Seattle officer was shot to death and four police cars were fire-bombed by a "lone domestic terrorist."
The police shooting death of Aaron Campbell earlier this year touched a nerve that for some was already exposed and raw. The Grand Jury in the case took the unusual step of writing a letter to the District Attorney to explain that their sympathies were with the Campbell family, but that under Oregon law, they could not indict officer Ronald Frashour. They concluded that Aaron Campbell — and Portland — "deserved better". Demands for more police accountability in this case — and others, like James Chasse, who died in police custody in 2006 — have led to a proposal to strengthen the Indepedent Police Review (IPR) process. The proposed changes would replace the current Performance Review and Use of Force Boards with one Police Review Board; they would strengthen the authority of the Independent Police Review in matters investigated by the Bureau; and they would give the IPR the power to initiate its own independent investigations.
Last week we discussed the shooting death of Aaron Campbell at the hands of the Portland police. But the Skanner newspaper has taken the discussion to a new level — one that we want to pick up on, with thanks to them. Here's an excerpt from their recent editorial:
The fact is, we at The Skanner News simply have to warn our readers away from calling the police when they are in a crisis situation. We cannot have faith that innocents won't get caught in the firing line when trigger-finger officers arrive in force. We need to start solving our own problems. There is a sense in the community of desperation at this situation never seems to change because there are no consequences to the officers who do the shooting. We should be more like our Asian brothers and sisters and solve our own problems. We as adults need to talk to these young men to de-escalate the situation ourselves. ... if you are in crisis in Portland, think twice before you bring in law enforcement. James Chasse, Kendra James, James Jahar Perez, Jose Santos Victor Mejia Poot, Damon Lowery, Duane Anthony Shaw, Byron Hammick, Deonte Keller. What do all these people have in common? All were killed at the hands of the police. Think twice. What do you think?
Master shoemakers Jesse Moore and Marika Verploegh Chasse discuss shoemaking.