Department of Justice Town Hall Meeting: Investigation of Portland Police Use of Force Against People With Mental Illness

The actual Press Release for this event we include in full below, but it oddly makes no mention of people with a mental illness. The investigation started with an announcement on June 8th, 2011, where Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas E. Perez said the investigation was prompted by the significant increase in police shooting over the previous 18 months, the majority of which involved people with mental illness.

A photo of James Chasse Jr. that was displayed during an October, 2010 news conference.

James Chasse Jr.

Aaron Campbell

Aaron Campbell

Keaton Otis

Keaton Otis

Jack Collins, by William Fiesterman

Jack Collins, by William Fiesterman

So if you want to remind yourself what this is really all about, feel free to review some of the following material:

Read: What Happened To James Chasse
Read: What Happened To Aaron Campbell
Read: What Happened To Jack Collins
Read: What Happened To Thomas Higginbotham
Read: What Happened To Keaton Otis

Read: Perez Notice Letter notifying Portland of DOJ investigation.

From: U.S. Attorney’s Office And Civil Rights Division Announce Town Hall Meeting Regarding Portland Police Bureau Investigation, February 10, 2012

United States Attorney S. Amanda Marshall
District of Oregon

FEBRUARY 10, 2012


The United States Department of Justice seeks community input concerning the investigation of the Portland Police Bureau’s (PPB) use of force policies and practices. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon, in conjunction with the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division, will conduct a town hall meeting with members of the public on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the St. John’s Community Center located at 8427 N. Central Street in Portland.

On June 8, 2011, the Justice Department opened a civil investigation pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 United States Code, Section 14141, in order to determine whether PPB has engaged in a pattern or practice of use of force which amounts to a violation of civil rights. During the first week of August 2011, the Justice Department conducted numerous individual interviews with members of the public in three locations throughout Portland. The Justice Department is returning to Portland as part of the investigation and invites any individual who has specific and recent information they would like to share about their personal interaction with PPB officers to participate in this town hall meeting.

Throughout the course of the investigation, the Justice Department will seek to determine whether there are systemic violations of the Constitution or federal law by officers of the PPB. The Justice Department will consider all relevant information, particularly the efforts that Portland has undertaken to ensure compliance with federal law. The Justice Department has taken similar steps involving a variety of state and local law enforcement agencies, both large and small, in jurisdictions such as New York, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, Louisiana, and California.

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon are jointly investigating this matter. If you have any comments or concerns, but are unable to attend the town hall meeting, please feel free to contact us at or 1-877-218-5228. You may also feel free to contact the U.S. Attorney’s local Civil Rights Hotline at either 503-471-5577 or by email at

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