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What Happened to James Chasse: Sizer’s Oregonian editorial swipes at publishing officers’ addresses on websites

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sizer’s Oregonian editorial swipes at publishing officers’ addresses on websites

from the Portland Mercury

Police Chief Rosie Sizer has hit back in an Oregonian editorial after 50 anti police brutality protesters picketed her West Hills home on Sunday afternoon.
It’s not constructive for people who say they are outraged by violence to threaten the lives of officers and publish their home addresses on websites. It’s not constructive to make wide-sweeping assumptions about more than 1,000 people who put on a badge every day. It’s not fair or broad-minded for people to draw conclusions about the entire Portland Police Bureau when they admit they have never visited a precinct, spoken to an officer or attended any community policing event.

“This incident and the actions of the officers should not be tried in the court of public opinion,” she writes, conceding later that “community members have a right to be concerned when there are serious allegations made against police officers.”

Question: If the community is dis-satisfied with the judicial process used to determine criminal liability on the part of Portland’s police officers, where can they air their grievances other than in the court of public opinion? Many feel they will never see justice for James Chasse, as long as the District Attorney’s office is responsible for trying the cops it works alongside on a daily basis. While Sizer encourages readers now to “focus on the broader issues”, there’s a very specific issue that needs to be addressed first.

If we’re to read Sizer’s editorial as an effort to engage in discussion with the community, aren’t Chasse’s family entitled to contribute to that discussion by saying they don’t think the Grand Jury process is fair? Public opinion is not a one-way street.

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