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James Chasse - "accidental" death by cop

We've all heard of what's been euphemistically called "suicide by cop." Now, the stenographers in the MSM report unquestioningly on a new phenomenon:
Accidental death by cop.
Posted by The Oregonian newsroom September 22, 2006 16:12:
Medical examiners say man died from trauma to chest

The Oregon State Medical Examiner has determined that James Chasse Jr. died as a result of a broad-based blunt force trauma to his chest.

Chasse died in police custody on Sunday evening after he had a violent struggle with arresting officers. The Medical Examiner has ruled Chasse's death as accidental. The toxicology results were negative.

Two witnesses who watched police take Chasse into custody filed complaints with the city alleging that police used excessive force.

A police spokesman said the investigation is continuing. Detectives are asking anyone who had contact with Chasse, or has knowledge of his actions prior to his contact with the police, to call Detective Lynn Courtney at 503-823-0451 or Detective Jon Rhodes at 503-823-0459.

I'm sorry sir, I "accidently" caved in your chest when I "accidently" booted you several times when you were on the ground after three of us "accidently" tackled you, because we "accidently" thought you might be acting oddly and/or pissing in the street.

So, it's SAD, it's TRAGIC, it's certainly UNFORTUNATE, but you know, it was just an ACCIDENT.


Check out the last paragraph of the O's "reporting":

The ME ruled his death "accidental," but the investigation is continuing. Detectives want to talk to anyone "who had contact with Chasse, or has knowledge of his actions prior to his contact with the police." WHY?

Yesterday, they wrote that the autopsy results were being held pending the results of the toxicology tests. I'm no doctor, but how can death from blunt force trauma to the chest be confused with death by intoxication or overdose? It can't. But they always need that toxicology report before placing blame don't they?

So now that they can't blame the victim for being drunk or high - and therefore written off for being to blame for his own demise - they're searching for some other excuse. ANY excuse.

Why the fuck else does it matter what he was doing PRIOR to his contact with the police? They had no knowledge of it, so whatever he might (or might not) have done can't be blamed for THEIR actions.

They originally claimed this was being investigated as a homicide. I'm curious - if a caved in chest is "accidental," what cause of death would they classify as homicide?

I get it now... 22.Sep.2006 22:06


"According to Karen Gunson of the state medical examiner's office, it means that the trauma could have come from falling down, or having somone fall on him - and the blow was not likely from being kicked or punched."

I get it now. A "broad" blow to the chest from being tackled by 3 burly cops (ie, "falling down" or having someone "fall" on you) is much more likely to kill you than those "focused" blows to the chest from being kicked. Geez, I shoulda gone to medical school.

"Gunson said that from a medical examiner's point of view, the officers involved did not know Chasse would die based on their actions."

And how do you determine - via autopsy - what officers did or did not know... or intend at the time? Why does the supposedly objective, independent ME even have a point of view re: what the officers knew? Is this science or mind reading? Fact or speculation?

And so, I suppose by the same logic, if I'm chasing after my wayward toddler, tackle him and then boot him a couple times in the chest for good measure, I can just say I didn't know he'd die based on my actions?

The officers involved in Chasse's custody were identified as Sgt. Kyle Nice, 39, a 14-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau, officer Christopher Humphreys, 31, a seven-year veteran of the bureau and Dep. Brett Burton, 26, a two-year veteran with the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

A statement released Friday by the Portland Police Association said: "We understand the Medical Examiner has released a report today that comments on the manner and cause of death concerning James Chasse. While we understand the incident has garnered press coverage and community comment we remind everyone that there is an ongoing, thorough, and professsional investigation taking place. Next week there will likely be a review by the Multnomah County District Attorney's office. We are confident in our officers and believe they will be vindicated through the review process. We are unable to comment about the specifics of this case because the investigation is continuing, but following the review by the D.A. we will have a detailed response at that time."

more.. 22.Sep.2006 22:23


From the Portland Mercury:

Witnesses say Chasse lost consciousness and was lying on the ground for around 10 minutes, during which time more cops arrived on the scene.

"The cops were nervous," says Asa Battista, who did not see the initial arrest, but watched the aftermath. "I saw them all standing around, sort of looking at him and each other, like this was beyond what they'd intended."

Another eyewitness, David Lillegaard, says the cops occasionally tapped Chasse with their feet to see if he was conscious.

"He was face down on the concrete, and didn't look like he was breathing. At that point, I thought he was dead," Lillegaard says. Witnesses say Chasse had been bleeding from his mouth.

"They weren't trying to do anything—they didn't check his airways, or attempt any kind of triage," says [Jamie] Marquez [a witness to the incident who works in the Pearl], who has had some training in first aid. "It was like they'd hit an animal in the road, and they were like, 'Now what do we do?'"

An ambulance arrived, and a paramedic attended to Chasse, who regained consciousness. The cops then "hog-tied" the man, tying his arms and feet together behind his back, and carried him to a patrol car "like they were carrying a six-pack," says Marquez.

After Chasse was removed, witnesses say the paramedics cleaned up a pool of blood off the street.

"My dad's a cop," says Marquez, who says he's had trouble sleeping since witnessing the incident. "So I'm not biased. I respect their job—everyone's job is hard. But as a taxpayer, I pay for the cops to protect and serve, not to lose control. There needs to be accountability for this."
Photo taken by witness Jamie Marquez
Photo taken by witness Jamie Marquez

Picture 23.Sep.2006 08:48


James Chasse
James Chasse

Paying Attention 23.Sep.2006 13:39


All week,I have been where there is PPB Arresting activity,on the way back from THE CRC (review board created from James and Prez shooting)I had my Bus stopped ,so I could get off when I saw 9 cop cars on the bus mall tuesday night at 9 p.m.
7 to 8 drug arrests(A sting), and I heard the man whom got Tazered, scream for about 6 minutes while I was shooting 4 photo's
I was approached by a SGt whom reconized me,and ,asked, "whats up?", and I told him, just heading home from CRC.
(Sorry, no ones taught me how to Post Photo's on the internet)

Next monthes presentation is a presentation by the N.W. Constitutional Rights Center,the results of all the Racial Profiling Meetings.

Seems like Dan Handleman(Copwatch) and I and One other citizen are the only show's, it is open to the Public.
the outcry and marches in the street demanded this team of reviewers and I'm concerned that people dont feel comfortable or safe to come ???
Or what is it? Dan Handleman very well monitor's the whole meeting with a Video camera,and he calls them on proceduarl errors at citizen imput time.
Go to the IPR webpage to see times and dates.

A 3rd set of new members are to be annouced this week,and the extra's not chose, was suggested to put to work on the side, for the review board, to familrize them with the process.

Monica Gorake of the Law Center Project did a presentation on the Homeless in Portland and how the PPB moves on them most all of the time.
I'm writting a related articule.