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What Happened to James Chasse: Jury Clears Police In Man's Death

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Jury Clears Police In Man's Death


A grand jury has cleared Portland police in the death of a 42-year-old man.

Forty-two-year-old James Chasse of Portland died on Sept. 17 after he suffered 16 broken ribs, including some that punctured a lung and caused internal bleeding. Details about the injuries were included in a state medical examiner's autopsy report released by his family.

A seven-member grand jury ruled unanimously Tuesday that it found no criminal wrongdoing.

One of the 30 witnesses called was William Brady, a former state medical examiner who now has a pathology practice and often testifies on behalf of the defense. Chasse's family requested that he be called to testify.

In separate press conferences Mayor Tom Potter apologized to Chasse's family and Police Chief Rosie Sizer called the death a "tragedy" for the victim, his family and police. (Read the police's in-custody death investigation results.)

Both said the city will push for better police training to manage the mentally ill and more funding for treatment.

Friends and family will be holding a candlelight memorial vigil for Chasse on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church on Southwest Park Avenue.

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