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What Happened to James Chasse: LETTER TO THE EDITOR - 11/1/06

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

LETTER TO THE EDITOR - 11/1/06

from The Oregonian

Bureau tolerates violence

Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer is correct: We must improve services for the mentally ill ("A time to focus on the broader issues," Oct. 25). Her help will surely be welcome.

But James P. Chasse Jr. did not die for lack of a crisis triage center. He died at the hands of police, at least one of whom has a sufficiently disturbing record of excessive force that he should not be in contact with the public.

Sizer has the authority to make desperately needed changes. A culture of violence is tolerated in the police bureau. How else to explain three officers chasing a man who may or may not have urinated in public, then beating him to death once they had him "down"?

Improved or expanded training will not suffice. The psychological profile used to determine who is fit to wear a badge must be revised.

ANDREW SZATKOWSKI

Northeast Portland

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