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What Happened to James Chasse: Officer Humphreys Witness Statements from 2003

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Officer Humphreys Witness Statements from 2003

from the Portland Mercury

It should be noted that while these comments can be interpreted as a “sarcastic jab” at Officer Humphreys, they also represent the profound suffering of the man being beaten, and it would be a shame if he felt that wasn’t recognized. The attorney who supplied the statements, Travis Eiva, got in touch this morning asking that this be made clear. Please note also that the civil suit was settled earlier this year, but originally filed in 2003.

Secondly, to respond to a comment on this post: Wherever this story originated (Eiva posted on Bojack’s blog at the weekend—we tracked him down by phone yesterday), let’s not lose sight of the issue at hand:The city has paid out in the past for the violent misbehavior of the same officer involved in Chasse’s death. Instead of bitching about who spoke first with Eiva, let’s give him credit where it’s due for stepping forward with his information. Otherwise he may feel he should “know better” than to involve himself with the media in future, and that’s no good for anybody. Here endeth my twopence worth.

ORIGINAL POST filed monday 16:26. Guess who these witness statements are about?
From a civil suit filed against the City of Portland earlier this year:

“…what I saw was [a man] laying on the ground being beat. I did not see him struggling. I saw him laying on the ground being beat.” “The guy on the ground was screaming like somebody was going to kill him. I mean, just … and I could hear the whacks of the sticks hitting him. I mean, I figured his ribs were going to be busted up or … I thought they were going to kill him. … And, I mean, I’m in an enclosed house. I could hear it clear across the street. Just “thwack, thwack.” You know. Unquestionable what it is. No doubt in your mind when you hear it.”

I remember seeing [the man] on the ground and more police just showing up and just, and then, I couldn’t see no more. … I just seen dark clothes and arms going up in the air and coming back down. I seen them, they were just coming up and down. Up and down. Up and down. … I heard some … something solid hit wood. That’s what it sounded like to myself. … [And the man] continued to scream for [help from the people who lived in the house]. And he was telling them to stop, and he asked what he did … just pleading.

Thanks to attorney Travis Eiva at Haile Eiva for these—they describe the behaviour, at least in part, of one Officer Christopher Humphreys. If that name sounds familiar, do a Google search for “James Phillip Chasse.”

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