Does anyone know James Chasse? Long thread from Portland IndyMedia

September 22, 2006, from Portland IndyMedia

Does anyone know James Chasse?
author: Columbiana

James Chasse was murdered by the Portland police. He was tazed, kicked in the head, beaten, jumped on, and hog tied. And then he “mysteriously” died in police custody. I saw a picture of him on the “beat goes on” thread on this site. It made me want to know more about him.

When the police kill someone in this city, too often they are allowed to define who that person was. Through the police officers’ apologist mouthpieces in the corporate media, all we ever learn is a few extraneous facts, usually not even accurate. Whether the person ever did drugs or not, we are fed snippets to make us believe they were a drug addict. If they were ever in trouble with the law, we are told that. If they were poor or homeless or somehow different than the Brady Bunch family, we are told those details. But never anything more. We are never given a real picture of the real human being whose living and breathing flesh was so terribly assaulted by the police state that they have been added to the long list of people who gave their lives to the Force. The brute force of power crazed thugs in uniform.

I want to know more than that. I look at the photograph of this man who is no longer alive in the world with us, and I want to know who he really was. What stories did he have to tell? What roads did he travel down? What kind of life was taken from him by the police?

Is there anyone who can speak up for him? The man in the photograph has eyes that seem like they were full of stories. The kind of stories you would never get from the shallow, superficial corporate media. The kind of stories he can no longer tell us. He was a brother to us, and we must listen to the silence for a whisper, rather than sketching in his life from the hard lines and coarse details spooned out by the corporate press. Somehow, it seems so much more unjust for them to take his story away along with his life. Please, if you knew him, give him back his stories. Share them with us.

An accident 22.Sep.2006 18:48

The County Coroner ruled his death an “accident” today.
How can he rule it an accident?
Beatings are not accidental.

I wait with anticipation of the grand jury’s
“business as usual” exoneration
of these members of our highly respected local thug police force.

To protect (their own asses) and serve (their politician masters).

The police state is ugly, and getting uglier each and every day.

YOU or I could easily be the next victim.

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Here’s something 22.Sep.2006 20:16

Here’s something I found on another blog ( someone who knew him:

“Very sad to read the name and see the picture first on your blog Jack. I knew Jim Jim for 25+ years off and on. He was a gentle soul at all times, a man who was kind and calm and loved music – especially anything from the Velvet Underground. Back the about 1977 or 1978 Jim even fronted a band – I think it was called the Psychedelic Combo. Played at The Long Goodbye on 10th and NW Everett. I remember long talks in front of the Central Library – often drifting away in the breeze.

This is a sad day for Jim Jim, for his family, for all the people who helped him over the years, and for the police officers who evidentially have been instructed from the wrong book.”

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Thank you again, Hatter! 22.Sep.2006 20:34

Any information that we can get on Mr. Chasse helps us to re humanize the victim (who of course is referred to as “suspect” in MSM.) At least they have admitted that drugs were not an issue. We all know that the grand freakin jury will find no true bill, so I hope that he has family, with standing to file a wrongful death action. Of course, the feds could always file fourteenth ammendment action, but we all know how likely that is, too.

Again, thank you for finding the first human element. Let’s keep digging.

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More… 23.Sep.2006 00:34

You bet, LN. Here’s a little more I found:

Chasse’s family are also asking anyone who witnessed the arrest to contact their attorney, Tom Steenson, at 503-221-1792.

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I knew him 23.Sep.2006 00:44

I thought the named seemed familiar, then I saw the photo on BoJack blog.

Yes I knew Jay, quite well in fact, back in the early days of punk here 1978-79 era. He was one of my favorite people in the scene, very creative and caring.

His parents shipped him off to Dammish State Mental Hospital (One Flew Over the Cucoo’s nest was filmed there) because he was underage and had run off to live with a girl friend (same age) and was “weird” ie early punk/new wave type artist-zinester. One time I drove about a dozen of us in my old Travell all down to Woodburn/Dammish to visit. It was just like the movie, with a Nurse Ratchett collecting our punk badges then telling us we couldn’t see him – parents’ orders.

He was never the same when he came back. I always hated them for it.

He was always gentle, often wore dresses back in the day – as “Jay X-ing Star”, just convinced that he was ‘off’ or crazy. I’ve seen and talked to him numbers of times in the interviening 20 years, obviously he had mental problems, but I never felt he was violent.

I’m pretty crushed, and sad. What a life and talent he had promised and to watch it wasted by various authorities.

As Mother Jones said: “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living”.

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didn’t know him personally, but… 23.Sep.2006 01:47

I’m reading about this story everyday, here and in the O. Today, as I read a story from the latter:

( link to

the following comments particularly struck me:

A family member and a friend said Chasse had suffered from a psychotic mental disorder since his teenage years.

“He was in and out of half-way houses and acute care settings with various medical/psychiatric diagnoses and treatments prescribed,” his aunt Julie Chasse Cargill wrote in a letter. “The life of James Jr. was a sad struggle. But, how much sadder for this man to have died ‘in custody.’ ”

Jason Renaud, a volunteer with the Mental Health Association of Portland, said he had gone to school with Chasse at the Metropolitan Learning Center. “This is a sad day for Jim, for his family, for all the people who helped him over the years,” Renaud said. . (end excerpt)

Thing is, over the years, I’ve personally known quite a number of people out and about downtown, all with at least some good in them, but who had various kinds of psychological problems. Other thing is, based on what I think I can reliably state through personal observation, there is no conceivable reason that the police would not have some idea of the mental state of a regular character that Jim Chasse seems to have been. In fact the O story reports that they themselves recognized that a mental disorder was one possibility responsible for his behavior.

The cops downtown know all the regulars like the back of their own hands. What am I saying? Maybe he wasn’t a regular. But even so. Urinating in the street in full view of others or oblivious to them? Biting cops? They should have been able to tell this guy was off his head, and should have had a prescribed procedure for subduing him that was consistent with such a conclusion. It’s very depressing to come to this reality about the police in regards to their disposition towards people who visibly display indications of mental disorder.

My own cousin, out of this state, has seizures, like Poot had. I myself have had plenty of psychological problems, though, thankfully I’ve never fallen off the edge.

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Very true 23.Sep.2006 08:00

ST, you are so very correct. The coppers know all the local “leaks” as we used to call them, better than they know where the nearest donut shop is located. They know their habits, their propensities, and they certainly know that there are very few places for a person to take a pee downtown. WTF, WTF?
If James had been a dog, even a biting, barking dog, and there were witnesses to the cops, or ANYBODY kicking the shit out of him, the noise would not stop until the cops were out of work, and probably in JAIL.
One glance at the photo of poor James, lying there on the pavement, and even an untrained person would have to guess that a knee was applied to his solar plexus. It is so wrong.

I certainly would hope, if the grand jury (hah!) passes it’s magic wand over this poor man’s case, that the legal community will rise up and seek retribution. How about the Constitutional Law Center? SOMEBODY has to make these out of control bastards pay.

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thanks to everyone 23.Sep.2006 09:33

Thanks to everyone for helping to fill in these details. I especially appreciate the information from madam hatter and morgan. These are the kinds of details I was seeking. (The stuff from the Oregonian is not really was I was looking for. They are all too predictable in their spin, and way too choosy about the details they deign to print.) Morgan’s perspective is very touching, and exactly the kind of words that can help to bring back this person’s story. If anyone else can tell us more, please do.

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Business as usual, I’m afraid…
23.Sep.2006 10:49


I didn’t know James myself. I’m so sorry for what happened to him, I certainly do believe it was a murder by the police. This may be difficult to read, especially if you knew James personally. I don’t want to upset anyone, but just so you know – what I write below could be pretty disturbing. It bothers me just to think about it.

I worked in local law enforcement myself (not PPB) for years, and I knew a number of PPB officers quite well. Because I was “one of them,” they would share things with me that were sometimes very sensitive and potentially incriminating. I have also personally witnessed PPB officers brutalize defenseless suspects, kicked and beaten while they were handcuffed and “in custody,” because the officers were enraged. After I left police work, I did my best to bring these incidents to light. I also tried to do that when they happened (the PPB ones I witnessed), but the police culture won’t let it happen. Get labeled a “snitch,” even if you are doing the right thing by coming forward, and your life is in danger (seriously!), your career is over. Look at what happened to Derek A. of PPB and the Stefano’s beating!! In fact, look at that whole Stefano’s mess! Cover-ups galore, and many of the same officers and supervisors are still at PPB right now… the cops who did the beating were fired and pled to lesser (misdemeanor) charges. But that was just a slap on the wrist, the culture that produced them doesn’t change…

I was not a witness to what happened to James. But I can offer some insight… please understand though that I am not an apologist for the police. Quite the opposite. But here is what I know. PPB generally refuses to take any responsibility when it comes to treating injured people, even people they themselves cause the injury to. Instead, their policy is generally to call for paramedics and let them handle all the medical issues. This can (and does) cause delays for the injured person, and because the police are not medically qualified or trained, this can become an excuse (officer: “how was I supposed to know they guy was dying? I’m not a paramedic… “). Also, by PPB refusing to handle medical issues they can pass off responsibility if something goes wrong (“talk to AMR about it, we didn’t treat the guy… “).

A few years ago, a mentally ill subject died in PPB custody (sorry, I don’t recall his name. It happened in North Portland, around Lombard & Interstate someplace?). If I remember right, it was determined that the person’s life could have been saved had the officer given him CPR or mouth to mouth after they struggled with him, something that PPB has refused to have their officers do. After that incident happened (and a lawsuit was filed by the family), I think PPB changed their policy to include CPR and basic first aid training. However, it is likely up to the officer whether they will engage in giving first aid or not, even with such training. As far as MCSO goes, that deputy was likely just at the scene to cover the PPB officers, meaning that the PPB officers would have been in charge.

So, the scene of all these officers standing around James (as in the Mercury’s photo) with James on the ground laying motionless, handcuffed, bleeding, and an officer tapping him with his foot but doing nothing else, does not surprise me in the least. That is PPB standard operating procedure. Sick and awful is what I call it. PPB did have AMR show up and evaluate James, obviously that paramedic crew blew it big time by not recognizing the serious medical trouble James was in. But now PPB can try and palm off some of the blame on AMR, because they don’t make any further medical decisions or treat the injured themselves. Nice, huh?! MCSO and PPB screwed up royally again, by having PPB officers (instead of AMR) transport James from the Jail to Portland Ad. The same PPB officers who lack medical training and likely only acted by the time it was too late for James to be saved.

There are Oreogn police agencies that require their officers to maintain a basic level EMT certification, and use those skills in an emergency. So Portland has no excuse. Whether emergency medical intervention (by the police and AMR) could have saved James life, I don’t know. But I would not expect any help from the police, especially if I was a suspect or they were super pissed off at me. I also wonder if the police withhold medical care sometimes, or delay calling for it, in order to hurt a suspect more? I would suspect that happens sometimes… just like the police pepper spraying someone, then after the suspect is “in custody” not decomtaminating them as they are trained to – instead tossing them into the back of a police car and letting them suffer the pepper spray effects longer as a form of street justice. That does happen. And Steven Dons “suicide” at MCDC a few years back (after he killed a PPB officer and wounded 2 others), an “assisted suicide?” A murder? A very delicate topic indeed, I have always wondered what really happened…

Anyways, Grand Jury is coming up on what happened to James. I suspect it’s going to be a whitewash. Oh, there will be reasons cited, excuses made, but in the end, the officers will get away with it as they nearly always do. James Perez, Jose Poot, even Kendra James, look what happened to the officers involved in those incidents… and remember Tony Lloyd Stephenson (back in the early 1980’s), the off duty security guard trying to break up a fight, “choke holded” into unconsicousness because PPB thought he was an aggressor and then PPB left him to die in the 7-11 parking lot at NE 3rd & Weidler!! That PPB officer, Bruce Pantly, was later fired because they found he had lied about having a college degree on his police officer application. They didn’t fire him because he allowed an innocent man to die right at his feet, while he cancelled the ambulance that was coming to help… They didn’t fire Paul Wickersham, the PPB officer who made up the imfamous “Don’t Choke ‘Em, Smoke ‘Em” T shirts that featured a smoking revolver, suggesting it was better just to shoot suspects rather than choke them (Wickersham recently retired after a long PPB career). Although Wickersham and Pantly are old news, in many ways this is still the culture that these present day officers are coming from.

And even if these officers involved in James death do get charged with something (let alone get convicted), that will do nothing to change the police culture itself, the mentality that beating and brutalizing people is okay, that human life has no value, that it’s “us versus them,” and that covering for each other at all costs, telling lies, is okay, too. The culture, the environment that produced officers capable of James murder, is still going strong. Civil suits are not helping much, they may in time if there are enough of them… In this case (if it goes civil), the City will likely settle after a long, drawn out process. But they will admit no guilt. PPB policies and GO’s won’t change. The City would just hand over a large sum of money (OUR money, taxpayer money, that they have lots and lots of, so why should they care?) to the family and/or the deceased person’s estate. Meanwhile, nothing really changes. Those officers will likely still be out working the streets again, in positions of authority and public trust. And what happened to James, things like that keep right on happening. Because the power structure is in place. Because this sickening police culture is in place that makes things like beatings, like even murder, okay…

It’s gotta change somehow. I wish I had the answers… it really makes me sick.

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to ‘someone’ 23.Sep.2006 17:01

Thank you for your information. It is apparent that the officers in the Chasse case simply went ‘nutz’ on the poor guy and hit him in the chest with a knee or kicked him. We possibly will never know what really happened because of the cover-up system you mention. I have seen the attitude of officers as they hassle street people, treating them as if their lives don’t matter. It is, as you said, an ‘us versus them’ world. This is really frightening. You did not mention Fouad Kaady, and his death is one of the most horrible. He was NAKED and BURNED and still shot to death by police officers. This is just crazy. How on earth are we going to stop this madness?

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Re; First Aid 23.Sep.2006 17:04

Thanks for the input “someone.” It’s good to hear from someone else who was in law enforcement.

When I was certified in CPR and First Aid (many moons ago) I was required to give assistance – by law, I think? Maybe it wasn’t an actual statute, though – I can’t remember. Does anyone know? I do remember we were covered by the “good samaritan” law that protected us from liability if we did give aid.

Wouldn’t this apply to cops too?

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to Someone
23.Sep.2006 18:23
videoista #24141

Thanks for shaing this information. It’s very important for the community to understand that this is how things work. Would you be interested in sharing your story through a video from the resistance? If so, please contact the pdx indy video collective at We would really love to hear from you. If you prefer, we can use filters to distort your voice and/or face, to protect your identity.

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Come on! 24.Sep.2006 11:41

Does not anyone know how to achieve justice for this man! Fouad Kaady did not set a precedent for even with the most tactable strikes against the DA of Clackamas county, the officers were still not indicted, but it needs to be practiced until our dream of police murder accountability is achieved! Is there no one who can help this mans justice? For time is of the essence. I will help, and I am not fearful. But I will not do it all on my own for I lack some physical and mental strength. I gave myself for Fouad because he was my little cousin, but it almost killed me.

if someone wants to help bring justice to this man, I will help.

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Police Insurgency in its last throes? 24.Sep.2006 14:37
Crescent Fresh

The police are full of fear. They are desperately clinging to their authoritarian culture. Liberally applying fist aid where needed. Making examples of expendables to terrorize the population into submission. Dare we hope that the escalation of violence is indicative of a force in its “last throes” as we are often told by Cheney & Co. I’m not that optimistic and I assume they will eschew treatment in favor of mistreatment for some time. Pressure should be brought to bear upon the barely there powers that be, responsible for overseeing, but instead overlooking, the misdeeds of the instruments of enforcement culture.

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More info… 24.Sep.2006 17:07

For Someone – the mentally ill man killed by the police in North Portland was Dickie Dow. Dow’s family sued the city and the pepper spray manufacturers and received a $380,000 settlement. See

I am somewhat familiar with the cops accused in this case. Kyle Nice was on the Bravo Squad of the RRT during the A22 protests, the same one that had one of its members pepper-spray Don Joughin and his children.

Christopher Humphreys nearly pepper-sprayed me during the 3/26/03 protest. I was on the east side of Pioneer Courthouse Square, about mid-block. The police were arresting people for jaywalking – this is when Oberleutenant Mark Kruger shoved a handcuffed woman in the face for contempt of cop. Humphreys had his pepper spray can leveled at me, and my eyes were directly on his nameplate. (Shows you what concern I have for my safety!)

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I went to high school with Jim Jim 24.Sep.2006 19:50

I work to raise awareness of police abuse of authority, through my radio work with KBOO, 90.7FM. So when I sat down to look at the murders by cops last week, it became surreal.

Jim Jim was at Metropolitan Learning Center during 82 or 83. He was very, very quiet. I had heard that he had been institutionalized, and he often kept to himself. My best friend and I liked him, and would find him in Couch Park, just so we could smile at him, and talk so he wouldn’t have to seem scared and alone.

Sometimes he told me that he talked to Saint Francis– he wanted to be like him, gentle to all beings.

One day he gave me a piece of white crayon, it had some thread tied around it. He told me that it was purity, and I should keep it, because there were a lot of things in the world that were corrupted, and the crayon would help me in the struggle/ movement. Twenty-four years later, I still have the crayon.

My heart is so heavy to hear this news. Jim Jim was a beautiful soul when I knew him; I mourn his loss and re-double my efforts to further justice within our communities, and peace in our lifetimes.

Cops must not get away with killing with impunity. By accounts of this “incident”, Jim Jim was murdered, pure and simple. The cops should be tried as murders. That’s the system, verdad? Kill someone, get trail for murder? We’ll see.

Meanwhile, Dearest Jim Jim, rest in peace.

Explain to me how this is an “accident”? 24.Sep.2006 20:27

ani link

This is from the KATU website — you can find it at the url below.

( link to

Death ruled accidental for man who died in police custody
Sep 22, 2006 at 4:02 PM PST

According to the ruling from the Medical Examiner, 42-year-old James Chasse died as a result of a broad-based, blunt force trauma to his chest. The toxicology results were negative. When KATU News contacted the Medical Examiner’s office for further information, they said the trauma included broken and crushed ribs, which restricted Chasse’s ability to breathe. Although the death has been ruled accidental, a Grand Jury is expected to hear the case next week.


How does one “accidently” break so many of a small man’s ribs through kicking and punching, so that he has difficulty breathing, and dies? You don’t. Know the difference between “accidents” and “murder”.

La lucha continua.
Don’t mourn, organize.

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I was particularly touched by Ani’s rememberence of James 24.Sep.2006 21:03
Little Lou Lou

..was deeply moved to tears when I read the part of his gentle spirit wishing to be like St. Francis and though I, myself, never knew James, those who did are all reflective in their rememberences of his gentle nature and the tragic struggles he seemingly faced due to mental illnesses that were not of his fault. Those I’ve talked to say to their knowledge and recollection there was drug abuse issues; and that it was just a sad unfortunate fate that he was beset with illnesses for which our present day’s system of health care and it’s financing is ill-equipped to provide meaningful healing.

We should honor his spirit with prayers for his onward journey to the light, resting assured that God will in His mercy recompense James in the spirit world for the stuggles he endured in this one; and we should refuse to forget what brought his life to an end and the despictable manner, as well as the monsters that senselessly killed him…their lying excuses notwithstanding!

As we mourn Jame’s death, let us get up from our prayers and go forth to work with resolve that his death will not be in vain, as we stand up with great resolve to this corrupted system of injustice that is choking the life from this once vibrant City…this evil Cult of Death that has taken root in the hearts of the PoPo and turned them from being our “best ‘n’ finest” to our “worst murderers” and changed their motto from “serve ‘n’ protect” to “kill ‘n’ cover-up”.

As a fitting tribute to such a gentle spirit, let us resolve to commit ourselves to staging a widely advertised viewing to the communuity-at-large of the acclaimed movie….V FOR VENDETTI and let the mass of people that attend stand as clear message to the PoPo and City Hall that enough is enough!

correction 24.Sep.2006 21:41
Little Lou Lou

in above, where it says there was “drug issue”, I unfortunately failed to type in the word “no” as I meant to write that he had no drug issues, as I was told by many people. I am so sorry for having, in my haste to type, to correctly write what I truly meant. Please forgive me!

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Thank you all so much 25.Sep.2006 09:17

It hurts so much when the police state takes another life, and then they try to take the person’s soul as well. They dehumanize both body and spirit. It’s beautiful to have so many people dragging back his soul for us, sharing his spirit. Thank you, Ani.

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To all the above 25.Sep.2006 09:30
touched deeply

All of you who responded to the call about this gentle-man: YOU ARE WONDERFUL PEOPLE and it is because of people like you with big loving human hearts that I still have some faith in the people in America. May God Bless You and give you the courage to continue struggling for the victims of the Devil.

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I have a friend who was disbarred for trying to expose police brutality 25.Sep.2006 10:00
Ahimsa Network

I have a friend who was disbarred for trying to expose police brutality

God receive Chase

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My memories of James
25.Sep.2006 15:27
Kim link

I ran into James around town pretty often. He always reminded me of the actor Jason Lee from the Kevin Smith films a little bit. James used to sit in coffee shops, on park benches, or on the sidewalk down in old town. He’d have a big duffell bag and a guitar a lot of the time. The first time I ever saw him he was playing his guitar and singing a song about whatever he saw going on around him and it was actually pretty good. Eventually, his guitar playing and singing would get louder until he was yelling, really banging out the chords and getting into the music, sometimes really pissed off. Having a conversation with him was an experience. He would talk about how the government was watching him and controlling his thoughts – that they gave him medications that let people read his mind. He would become really angry and slam his fists down on tables or benches before walking away, always talking to himself and looking over his shoulder. I always felt really sorry for him because he seemed like such a really cool guy that was suffering from a horrible affliction he couldn’t control. I saw the story and pic on a local news website and recognized him right away. Such a shame.

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Jim was a beautiful person – and Justice must be done 26.Sep.2006 11:08
Jason Renaud link

I knew Jim Jim pretty well before and after he was hospitalized. Of course it was almost knowing two different people, one cute and charming and cuddly and quiet and careful and sprinkled with pixie dust, and the other, hurt, over medicated, scared, confused, alone.

In his time Jim loved music and wandering around, loved Lou Reed and the Neo Boys, and retro clothes and smoking and had lots of friends – sweethearts in abundance.

But I also knew him recently, and what remained, surrounded by delusions and fears, was pure and solemn and spiritual. Some pain, but no anger. Sad, but not bitter.

His death was ridiculous. His memorial would be justice done. Which is more complicated than firing cops or training cops or “fixing the system.” The outcome of justice is safety. And now, people with mental illness can’t feel safe in Portland. It’s only those people who can measure Jim’s memorial.

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State Attorney General Has Full Authority To Investigate Incustody deaths 26.Sep.2006 18:11

At the state Capital,yesterday, I picked up the Signed Legislation that says the State Attorney of Oregon has full investigative Powers to take over,investigate, and convene a Grand Jury to try Cops.

Whose gonna make the Call to have him do so ????

Also, picked up the House bill 2427 that states “All Counties in Oregoand some cities with over 15,000 residents has to create a “civilian Police review board for Police complaints.

All chief’s of Police or Sherrif’s are to turn over all compliants they recierve within 7 days of reciving them.

I called Clackamas County today…they said no such law exisited..
Read the Cop the Number, and he still said it could not be………..

So it looks like I’ll be talking to the County Commissioner’s at Citizen imput time this thursday Again, when a group of you already asked for an oversight and an investigation of FOUAD Kaady’s death.

County Commission meeting starts at 9;30 on thursdays at the Public service building on the entrance road to the County jail Kaen Road in Oregon City,Or

Teresa Teater

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Re: HB 2427 27.Sep.2006 15:08

TT –

HB2427 means “House Bill” #2427. It was introduced last session (2005) but was never passed into law. You can find this information out on the Oregon Legislature website at: (click on “House Measure History”). Here’s what happened to the bill:

HB 2427 By Representative SHIELDS (at the request of Joe Smith)
— Relating to law enforcement.
1-26(H) First reading. Referred to Speaker’s desk.
1-31 Referred to Judiciary.
2-1 Assigned to Subcommittee On Criminal Law.
8-5 In committee upon adjournment.

So, to translate: Rep. Chip Shields introduced the bill and it was referred to Karen (“let then eat cake”) Minnis, the speaker of the house. She referred it to the Judiciary Committee who passed the buck along to the subcommittee on Criminal Law. Where it sat, until they adjourned.

This was a common tactic of Ms. Minnis and her Repuglican House last session, and many worthy bills suffered this fate (like the one to reign in payday loan interest). Ms. Minnis is up for re-election this fall. The rest of the House Judiciary Committee is listed below. I don;t know how many of them are up for re-election.

2005 Regular Session
House Judiciary Committee Membership:

Wayne Krieger, Chair
Andy Olson, Vice-Chair
Robert Ackerman
Jeff Barker, Judiciary Subcommittee On Criminal Law, Chair
Vicki Berger
Kevin Cameron
Greg Macpherson
Gene Whisnant

So, in short, there is no such law right now, but it doesn’t mean we can’t campaign to get it back on there this session – a worthy endeavor.

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Thank you all 27.Sep.2006 17:53

It is so refreshing to see more and more people taking time to write and help to expose all these crimes that police commit and try to get away with it. We
need more and more to speak their anger and outrage it’s so sad to live in a place that is so infested with injustice and lies Zaki and the few of us can’t do it alone Zaki has done more than enough and continues to give from himself
please introduce your relatives, friends and neighbors to the Indymedia if we have few more like you andZaki in every county things will start changing the power is in numbers they can discriminate against one but not against large number God bless America.

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he was an artist and writer
27.Sep.2006 21:47
Eva Lake

I knew him in 1978, when he was the youngest member in town of the original punk movement. He had a fanzine called the Organism. Many artists who are well know contributed to that rag.

he was smart, sweet and yeah, alittle crazy but so were we all.

I juts wanted to put a face and name to this person. we caled him Jim Jim
jim jim around 13 or 14

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RIP Jim Jim 29.Sep.2006 17:43
steve d

I knew Jim Jim well between 1979 and 1982, we were in a band together briefly. I don’t have much to add to today’s article in the Oregonian “Losing Jim Jim” other than that Greg Sage said that he was the inspiration for the Wipers song “Alien Boy” and that due to a severely broken leg when hit by a bus in 1981 or so, he needed the help of a cane to walk. I find it hard to believe that he was effectively able to run from the police.

I last visited with Jay in 2001 at the Ann Hughes coffee shop in Powell’s. He stopped me and introduced himself. Over a cup of tea he described his battle with schizophrenia, that he was sorry for mistrusting all of his friends in the past, that it was a symptom of his illness.

Alien Boy lyrics

Go and grab your gun
Got him on the run
Cause he’s an alien
They hurt what they don’t understand

So you had to turn away
There’s no other way
Your’re an alien
They hurt what they don’t understand

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Goind to grand jury tomorrow
02.Oct.2006 19:43

Well, I go into court tomorrow to testify before the grand jury. I snapped off the photos that you all are seeing. I am really disappointed in people. There were about 10 people there, at the scene, that had cell phones with cameras, and none of them took any pictures of the initial contact. Their responses to me was… “Im not getting involved.”

Is this the sick culture we live in, where people are to involved in their own shit, to stop for a second, and take part in the REAL WORLD!!! I was furious. I had to go retrieve my phone, from my work locker, in order to get some damn photos of the scene. I am really really shocked at our culture, and I am especially sorry for the family of James. I hope justice prevails, and I hope this is a wake up call to everybody. Our American culture is a babylonian pile of waste. For people to be more concerned what drink they want to order, than to stop and witness, and participate in the real world, makes me cringe.

I have been keeping my eye on this since I witnessed the ordeal, and my heart and soul literally stopped when I read the next day that James died. I actually watched cops kill a person. That makes me a sad sad person.

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jim jim 04.Oct.2006 14:31
Mish B

I remember Jim Jim from the early punk scene here.. and I will always remember him as the sweet gentle creative soul that he was. Reading the autopsy results breaks my heart. I’m so sorry Jim Jim.

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i knew jim-jim 05.Oct.2006 10:24
x j elliott

i met jim-jim when i moved to pdx in ’78. he was a funny, kind, spontaneous guy of about 15 then. he was part of the very small “punk” or new music scene back then. he was an avid music enthusiast, going to most of the shows, even the ones that didnt allow all ages in (he would hang around outside & wait to hear details). he often came up to my apartment in the anthrax & listened to 45’s. locally, he loved the Wipers, Neo Boys & the Fix. he help start a band of his own in ’79 or ’80, at first called the Psychedelic Unknowns, then changed to the Combos (so his parents couldnt track him down). he had been committed to Dammasch in May of 79, once he got out he rejoined his friends as soon as he could. i had done graffiti & badges(free jim-jim), we all were worried he would never get out. his paranoia & nervousness had roots, let me tell you. years later he came by Friction, a gallery i co-founded & ran, & told me ne was really Joan of Arc & that he was still being pursued by demons & witches, through many lifetimes. that was one of the last time i talked extensively with him. he was a sweet, fragile, gentle young man. i would see him on the streets from time to time, but by then he was in his own world & didnt seem to notice the world around him much. i wish the news would stop saying he was homeless, he wasnt. he needs to be remembered for his creativity & beautiful spirit, not his sad illness or horrific death. as back then, i still say: FREE JIM-JIM!

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Jim-Jim 06.Oct.2006 12:40
Greg Sage

I remember the first time I met Jim Jim in late 77.

He struck me as a amazing spirit right off the bat.

He didn’t seem to fit in anywhere till he found friends in the early PDX music scene.

He loved people, music, art and was one of the most creative people his age I ever met.

He was a good friend and large influence on some songs I wrote and recorded.

I remember when he first started seeing and hearing negative visions.
I told him of a experience I had and how I dealt with it, which he seemed to find relieving.

I always felt bad that I was traveling a lot during his time in the hospital.

I still see him as young Jim Jim, a funny, loving soul.

I hope there will be justice for Jim.

He was loved by so many people.


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Ya right! 06.Oct.2006 15:16
kevin g

I have to 100% agree with you. There is no such thing as an “accidental” beating death. I have to make the AMR Medics who responded to the scene almost as culpable as the police themselves. According to the coroner’s report released by Mr Chasses family, the medics left the call as to whether or not to transport him to the hospital after the beating to the police. Had he been transported promptly he would STILL BE ALIVE. Any tort claim that follows this incident should name AMR and the responding paramedics. I say indict the cops and sue the living hell out of the irresponsible EMT’s and their company.

Thanks for letting me vent.

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Just so sad 07.Oct.2006 16:37
Martha Titterton

I barely knew Jim Jim the year I went to MLC, I moved out of state after that. The friends that I left behind gathered this soul into their hearts and celebrated his beauty. When I saw the picture in the paper he was familiar, but the picture of the child that he was made me cry. How many degrees of separation until the child is ours, yours, not just theirs. I have been angry and afraid for years watching all that the police have gotten away with regarding the many fragile populations in Portland. This has to stop. Those responsible need to answer for this crime.

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another look 08.Oct.2006 12:42
x j elliott

i am including a photo i took of jim-jim at the tom robinson band’s gig at euphoria in late may of ’79. as it was not an all ages show, jim-jim & others too young, like naomi (also seen in the photo), hung outside the back door afterwards until the band exited. tom signed autographs & handed out trb badges & as you can see jim-jim was enthusiastic, happy, beautiful, beatific. he was quite amorous that night, wanting to go home with me. as he was so young, of course, i could not comply with his wishes. within weeks he was commited to dammasch by his folks. after he was released he was still threatened with a return trip if he didnt straighten up & behave the way they wanted, that hung over him very heavily. who knows what torments a 15 year old boy endures in an old state mental hospital. none of us on the outside could imagine. ironically the place was shut down when the reagan regime cut funding for mental health care, at the same time making it harder for people with real mental issues to receive any kind of assistance or relief. that is when one began seeing the homeless situation grow leaps & bounds in pdx in the early ’80s. people like jim-jim were neglected & abused by the government, so much for the state taking care of all of its people. jim-jim stayed connected with the scene for quite a while, considering what he was going through. he helped me move from the anthrax to the bonneville, i remember, later in september. his band played shows with the Wipers, Neo Boys, the Fix, Sado-Nation & others. i think the Neo Boys also wrote a song that was about jim-jim, something about being an abstract painting without any straight lines…i want to remember the beautiful creature he was, without an ounce of cruelty. as to the little men who murdered him, i only want to say that two of them (kyle nice & chris humphrey) have been investigated before for excessive force. i would hope, at the very least, that the pdx police do weekly drug & steroid testing on these “servants of the community”. they obviously have problems. & they love to take it out on the marginalized citizens of pdx, they have as long as i have lived here. so, if you are different, watch out! the police are not there to protect nor serve, only to keep the gigantic fascist machine rolling over us until we are all willing to be as mean, stupid & evil as they are. will we let them change us or will we make them change? let’s hear what the grand jury says, let’s see what sizer & potter do, then we can figure out if justice is truly being served in our little corner of the world. last words: thank you to everyone who are sharing memories & insights into jim-jims life (& death). he was obviously loved & cherished & is well-remembered, that says everything.


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Jimjim 09.Oct.2006 19:58

JimJim was a sweet, intelligent kid that used to hang out at Galleria and drink coffee all day and write and draw cartoons in his notebook. Sometimes, we took acid, to make things a bit more interesting. I think that he was possibly one of those unfortunate ones, that the acid may have contributed to triggering some serious mental health issues. Even when he was still a kid, he was placed in the State Mental Hospital for a bit. A bunch of us drove up to try to visit him, and were not allowed to. I remember feeling that he was being punished for being different by this hospitalization, and this angered me, as all of us that hung out at that time were the “different” ones, the kids that dropped out of high school, because we got tired of being terrorized by the jocks because we were too smart, sensitive and weird…and that scared them. The same kind of jocks that probably grew up to be cops. Sometimes people get to become professional bullies, I guess.

Many of the people that I knew from the early punk scene have died early deaths….drug overdoses, AIDS, suicide. But for Jimjim to have been killed so brutally by the police really breaks my heart.

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I remember James, or “Jay” Chasse 30.Oct.2006 13:18
A neighbor

I remember James Chasse; I knew him first as Jay, later as Joan of Arc. When I met him he was recovering from being hit by a Tri-Met bus. He had his leg in a cast and a bandana around his head. He was always walking around downtown, one crutch under his arm. He was sweet, a loner, and had big eyes that were simultaneously welcoming, innocent and afraid.

When I saw him next, it was a few years later. I had an apartment in NW, but NW was a much more diverse, ramshackle and accepting place back then. My apartment windows opened onto a little patch of roof over an alley. Sometimes Jay would use that as a place to get away from life on the street. He seemed like he was homeless, then. He called himself Joan of Arc, wore a blue dress, and I think he had a shopping cart. That might make him sound like a “freak”, but he still held on to a good energy. He was okay. I didn’t mind if he hid out behind our building, outside my windows. I remember him, and I’ve written about him, and he was memorable from day one. He was never a violent or threatening member of the Portland downtown community. He had his struggles, but he was okay. live and let live.

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I knew James Chasse 30.Oct.2006 20:53


I worked with James as his “representative payee” for his social security funds. I just wanted the family to know that I always thought he was the sweetest man with a sweetest face and eyes. He was so gentle and shy and troubled.

I was so sad to see his story on the news. It broke my heart. And to learn that those officers don’t even get a slap on the hand makes me sick.

Anyway, I just wanted the family to know I care.



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PPD = disgusting 31.Oct.2006 10:50

I’ve never taken much interest in the affairs of the local police until recently. This was a murder, pure and simple. Anything else ignores the basic facts. I don’t care if Chasse was pissing on my foot, he did not deserve the beating and subsequent death he received.

The reaction of nearly every public official in regards to this incident has been despicable. A man is beaten to death by police and we get some funding for mental health training? Uhhhh okay. That’s great. Thanks for that, I’m sure the Chasse family and every other citizen who’s afraid to breathe around police takes a lot of comfort in that. I’m sure violent men like Officer Humphries will get a lot out of that training as well.

Even futher the quiet and lack of DEMAND for better policemen, not procedures, but policemen, from the citizens of Portland is deafening. Sure there has been some protest but ONE OF US WAS MURDERED and I’m shocked that doesn’t drum up serious serious questions.

Within months, this will all be swept under the rug and we’ll be waiting for the next inappropriate display of force from PPD.

Sad, really.

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moved to share resources 12.Feb.2007 02:35

Hey, I read quite a few of the posts in reply to all of this, and I thought I might be able to add a few things. I am a “street artist” and have “a lot of experience” with challenged folks there. What i note is that we really do have a lot of power in how we make/keep connections or don’t. What i want to share is just a few sources that might be valuable in bringing “closure” to this situation, as well as possible “preventions”.

First of all, is They have quite a history of going undercover to catch police agencies and police officers, across the u.s.a., who do not act professionally. Perhaps some of you would think it valuable in contacting them?

Secondly, imo too many critical thinkers have been lax in their thinking through things about so-called “mental illness” (we all have difficulties in living, some more than others; to label/reduce such challenges down to “illness” is to mystify and drive a wedge of fear between people). There are many ways we can reach out to people with difficulties, and perhaps lay a basis for creating the kind of communities we want in this world–where isolated persons won’t so quickly fall back on hysteria/fear when interacted with by police and other coercers.

An especially excellent/autonomous resource comes to mind.

The non-industry/**psychiatric survivor network** out of Utica, NY; they operate a national toll-free number where anyone having difficulties can speak with another human being and get more grounded. The number is 1-800-654-7227. I use it myself from time to time.

The best thing, though, is keeping lines of communication open between each other, and NOT allowing psychiatric/therapeutic mystifications to get in our way! And they DO get in our way! Believe what you must, but remember that we are all human beings! And with a little creativity and authenticity, it is *very possible* to make bridges with people who are “losing it” or have “lost it” and to make friends in ways that it is easy to believe “aren’t possible” in this day and age. And to bring out people’s best!

Some resources for critical awareness:


academic challenges to mental health ideology:

(website link below is some art done by comment author)

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. 17.May.2007 18:41

that picture above posted by “naomi” looks like it could have been a cover for one of jim chasse’s albums if his life hadn’t been derailed by schizophrenia and murder.

may his killers face justice one day, even if only in their own guilty souls