State of the Police State: James Chasse’s Family Fights Back

February 10, 2007

On Sunday, September 17, 2006, two Portland police officers and a Multnomah County sheriff’s deputy murdered James Chasse, Jr. (right, at the age of 14) in the Pearl District neighborhood of the city. Police officers Christopher Humphreys and Kyle Nice and Multnomah County deputy Bret Burton chased Chasse, tackled him to the ground, repeatedly kicked and punched him, Tasered him and hogtied his arms and legs behind his back. James was a slight 145 pound man carrying a backpack with some comic books and a sandwich.

The beating fractured 16 of James’ ribs and punctured one of his lungs. While he was restrained, James lost consciousness and paramedics were summoned. (See photos of the scene.) When a crowd began to gather around the scene of the assault, according to a lawsuit filed by the family Thursday, the officers began to loudly assert that he was “a transient” who was “on cocaine” and had “14 cocaine convictions”.

None of it was true.

James, 42, was a resident of the neighborhood, had no drugs or alcohol in his system and had never been convicted of any crime. His only “crime” was being schizophrenic and running away from the police who frightened him on the street.

The police never informed the paramedics of the vicious beating they had given their victim or of his loss of consciousness. Instead of transporting him to a hospital for treatment, the officers lifted James into the back of a squad car while he was still hogtied and took him to jail. Nurses at the jail refused to allow James to be booked into custody, yet failed to call 911 or render any medical examination or treatment to the broken man. The officers put him back into the car, still hogtied, and drove toward a hospital without lights or siren.

James died in the back seat before reaching the hospital.

A Multnomah County grand jury cleared all of the officers of wrongdoing. Each of the officers is still on patrol.

On Thursday of this week, James Chasse’s parents and siblings filed a federal lawsuit in the District of Oregon. A copy of the lawsuit is available here. A thread on the Portland Indymedia website which describes James Chasse’s life and personality is located here.


One Response to “State of the Police State: James Chasse’s Family Fights Back”

  1. masterpeace Says:

    As if this story could not get any more sickening, I noticed today that one of the photos on the link above shows the main killer, Christopher Humphreys, sauntering down the sidewalk with a fresh cup from the coffee shop on the corner while his victim lies hogtied and dying on the street.

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