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What Happened to James Chasse: Police chief addresses officer harassment in Chasse death

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Police chief addresses officer harassment in Chasse death


Portland's Police chief addressed the harassment of local officers targeted because they were cleared in the case of a man who died in custody.

Rosie Sizer said Wednesday she was tired of the finger pointing and name calling surrounding the death of James Chasse, a mentally ill man who died of blunt force trauma to the chest in the back of a police car in September.

A grand jury cleared officers involved. It was determined an officer fell on Chasse during a struggle as they tried to take him into custody, police said.
But Sizer pointed to some flyers posted around North and Northeast Portland that included photos of the officers involved and derogatory remarks.

Many of the flyers have been removed.

Sizer said the need now is to need to focus on the bigger issues exposed by this tragedy.

”Really the discussion about use of force, about the state of the mental health system and about the intersection between police officers and emergency managers, which are the three central issues can be hijacked by something that is deeply personal and quite offensive," Sizer said.

The bureau is currently reviewing policy and procedure related to this incident. And the mayor has asked for a comprehensive look at mental health services.

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