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What Happened to James Chasse: 2007-03-11

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


from The Oregonian

Chasse killed, not 'served'

Neither James P. Chasse Jr. nor anybody else was served or protected by the two Portland police officers and one Multnomah County sheriff's deputy who beat Chasse, because Chasse posed no threat to anybody. And Chasse did not "choose" a fight; the police accosted him.

Stuart Palmiter ("Protect and serve isn't just a motto," March 6) provides many statistics, none with any bearing on the Chasse case. Consider: One man committing zero crimes was beaten by two officers and one deputy, breaking 16 ribs in 26 places. Appropriate medical care was denied for almost two hours. That's why Chasse died.

Palmiter argues that police can require a person committing no crime to stop, then beat that law-abiding citizen into submission if he doesn't immediately comply or resists this unexpected and unwarranted assault. Palmiter calls this "winning." Any person who moves briskly through downtown wearing headphones should find this a bit disconcerting.

Until police who commit homicide on duty are held accountable, we are all at risk.