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What Happened to James Chasse: Officer involved in Chasse death has long history of using force

Friday, October 27, 2006

Officer involved in Chasse death has long history of using force


The officers involved in the death of a mentally ill Portland man have a long history of using force, according to police records and court documents.

Previously, KGW reported that two of the officers involved in James Chasse’s death were the focus of federal lawsuits claiming excessive force. In both cases, the jury sided with the officers. However, KGW learned of another case – this one was settled out of court.

David Repp said he witnessed his friend getting taken into custody in southeast Portland a few years ago and the officers were violent.

“When they carried him away, he looked like a dead guy. All you could just see was a little bit of breathing,” Repp said.

The friend, Chaz Miller, sued police for the April 2003 incident, claiming officers mistook him for a wanted suspect and assaulted him. Miller was 18 at the time. According to his mother, he suffered injuries from head to toe.

Earlier this year, the city of Portland agreed to settle out of court for more than $30,000.

Portland police officer Christopher Humphreys was among the defendants in the case. Last month, he was one of the officers involved in the death of James Chasse.

Chasse died in custody after a violent confrontation with police last month. A grand jury cleared officers of any criminal wrong-doing.

Over the last two years, Humphreys filed 78 use of force reports, police records indicate; he’s tied for the second highest number among all Portland police officers.

According to his supervisors, Humphreys worked as an arresting officer in many drug cases, requiring him to take down suspects.

Portland Police Spokesman Sergeant Brian Schmautz said Humphreys is a conscientious and hard-working officer.

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