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What Happened to James Chasse: City Wants To Keep Chasse Probe Secret

Friday, September 7, 2007

City Wants To Keep Chasse Probe Secret

from the Portland Mercury

It’s rumored that attorneys for the City of Portland are fighting in court to keep the Police Bureau’s internal affairs investigation into the death of James Chasse secret, saying they want to protect the privacy of the officers involved.

Tom Steenson, attorney for the Chasse family, said in a press release yesterday that a federal court hearing is scheduled for October 11, “to resolve disputes over the defendants’ production of documents in discovery.”

Sources close to the situation say the Police Bureau is refusing to release its internal affairs documents to Steenson, and that the hearing is scheduled to resolve questions of public disclosure. Nobody was in at the City, or at Steenson’s office, to return a call from Blogtown, but we’ll have more early next week.

Timing of the news is unfortunate—the anniversary of Chasse’s death is the Monday after next, and protests are already planned outside City Hall and the downtown Justice Center. Any efforts by the city to prevent complete transparency around Chasse’s death are bound to leave people asking what the city has to hide.

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