Group wants police report on Chasse in-custody death 3 years later

From, September 17 2009

A mental health advocacy group has started a petition asking Portland Police to release an internal report on a man who died in police custody three years ago.

James Chasse died while in police custody after an encounter with police in Old Town on September 17, 2006. Officers said Chasse appeared to be urinating outdoors and when he tried to get away they tackled him.

Medics were called to the scene and Chasse showed normal vital signs, then officers took him to the Multnomah County Detention Center according to officers.

According to the autopsy report, a nurse at the jail advised officers to take Chasse to the hospital. Police said he died as they were transporting him there, according to the report.

In July, The Multnomah County Commission voted to pay Chasse’s family $925,000 as a settlement to a civil lawsuit filed over the mentally ill man’s death in police custody.

“There are three police officers who are still on duty who did this, and what if they are a serious problem?” asks Jason Renaud, who is behind the petition. ”What if the investigation found something that these people should be disciplined? They should not be police officers any longer. That has to wait until the civil trial is done which could be years from now.”

Police Chief Rosie Sizer would not go on camera to talk about the petition, but issued a statement that the process has taken longer than she had hoped. She added there was one more internal process to complete before the findings are released.