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What Happened to James Chasse: Chasse's Family Disappointed By Grand Jury Finding

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chasse's Family Disappointed By Grand Jury Finding


The family of a mentally ill man who died while being taken into police custody says it is disappointed by a grand jury finding. The panel found Tuesday that the officers were not criminally negligent in the death of James Chasse. Kristian Foden-Vencil reports.
Mark Chasse, James's brother, called the grand jury system "deeply flawed" by a blatant conflict of interest. He says justice cannot be expected when the Multnomah County DA is responsible for investigating the misconduct of the same officers it works with every day.

Mark Chasse: "If the DA's office cannot get an indictment against these officers for their brutalization and torture of James, it is hard to imagine when they ever might. This system ultimately substitutes justice by public relations and political spin for anything resembling actual justice."

Chasse's family says it is considering whether to file a civil suit. It also accuses the Portland Police Department of twisting the facts in this case.

The department is conducting an internal investigation.

The City of Portland is expected to set up a human relations commission. Among other tasks, it would look into police treatment of the mentally ill.

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