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What Happened to James Chasse: Read This Story Please—Man Alleges Arrest, Intimidation over Anti-Cop Poster

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Read This Story Please—Man Alleges Arrest, Intimidation over Anti-Cop Poster

from the Portland Mercury

Blogtown readers, I’d like you to meet Richard Prentice:


I know it’s so “last year” to read our paper version these days, but Prentice’s story forms the basis for this week’s news lede—which is likely to be ignored by every other media outlet in town, unless his lawsuit against the Portland Police Bureau succeeds.

Prentice, a 200lb former linebacker, complained to the Independent Police Review (IPR) last September—alleging he had been badly beaten by cops in North Portland in March. Part of the complaint was an on-street beating, then he alleged he was taken to a holding cell, held against a wall while his kidneys were systematically punched, one at a time, so badly that he couldn’t tie his shoe laces for weeks afterwards. Prentice’s attorney at the time described the alleged incident as “torture.” The IPR rejected his complaint, and the city denied his tort claim, saying he was “intoxicated” on the night in question, and had a bad memory of what happened.

Ever been drunk? I know I have. Scary, though, isn’t it, to imagine that Prentice might have been telling the truth…

Anyway, that incident, coupled with the controversial death in custody of James Chasse, last September, is what led Prentice, he says, to create anti-cop posters, and try to post one on the wall of the Federal Courthouse on June 14th.

This is a city where plenty of people have a problem with the Police Bureau. “The cops are THUGS, maaaaan.” Yeah, whatever. But do Prentice’s allegations about what happened to him as he was putting up his poster make a difference to your rational, balanced perception of the Bureau? I’m assuming, since you’re reading Blogtown, that you don’t give too much credence to Indymedia’s rantings. But what about this story? Does it bother you? Do you care?

Read it, please. And make up your mind.

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