Officer On Leave For Using Force Against 12-Year-Old

From, November 19 2009

Officer Shot Beanbag Gun At Girl Who Was Resisting Arrest

A Portland police officer who was criticized for his role in the death of a mentally ill man was put on administrative leave following an investigation into his use of force against a 12-year-old girl last weekend, the police chief said.

Officer Christopher Humphreys is already facing a possible two-week suspension for his role in the September 2006 death of James Chasse Jr., who suffered from schizophrenia.

Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who proposed the suspension in the Chasse death, ordered the administrative leave for Humphreys on Thursday after authorities said Humphreys fired a beanbag round at close range and hit the girl in the leg after she struck another officer and was resisting arrest.

Police Chief Rosanne Sizer announced Saltzman’s decision Thursday afternoon.

On Saturday at about 10:47 p.m., police said Officer Aaron Dauchy and Humphreys responded to a large party involving known gang members.

The officers were told a gun had been found in bushes near the party, police said, and that 75 to 100 teenagers were walking in the area of 162nd Avenue and Northeast Halsey Street.

Portland and Gresham police officers followed the teens, some of whom were shouting about wanting to fight, to the MAX platform at 162nd Avenue. They followed the train to 148th Avenue and went on to the MAX platform.

As the train pulled in, police said Dauchy recognized a teenager who was on the TriMet exclusion list.

The teen was taken into custody and Dauchy then called to a 12-year-old girl, who was also on the exclusion list, to get off the train.

As Dauchy began to take her into custody, police said she swung at him and struck his face.

The officer told the girl to stop resisting arrest and continued to struggle with her, according to the Portland Police Bureau. Dauchy gave repeated warnings to stop resisting or he would shoot a beanbag gun.

Humphreys then shot the beanbag gun at the girl’s thigh at close range, police said.

She began to comply and officers began to take her into custody when she began to resist again.

Another officer arrived and the girl was handcuffed. Medical personnel were called and advised the girl had a bruise on her thigh but did not need to be transported.

Police said the girl has appeared in juvenile court for assaulting a public safety officer, resisting arrest and interfering with public transportation. She is not in custody at this time.

The investigation is ongoing.

Sizer said she was “troubled” by a Tri-Met video that showed the incident.

“Officer Humphreys has been placed on administrative leave and I have directed the Internal Affairs Division to conduct an immediate and full investigation into whether the use of force was justified under the totality of circumstances and whether the application of the beanbag at close range was consistent with the bureau’s training,” she said.

Sgt. Scott Westerman, Portland Police Association president, accused the city of playing politics and criticized both Sizer and Saltzman, telling reporters on the steps of police headquarters he no longer had any confidence in them.

On Nov. 4, Saltzman said he wanted Sgt. Kyle Nice and Humphreys suspended without pay for 80 hours each because they failed to get proper medical treatment for Chasse, a mentally ill man who died following his arrest.

Chasse was arrested Sept. 17, 2006, after being stunned by a Taser and chased. According to autopsy results, Chasse suffered more than a dozen broken ribs, including some that punctured a lung and caused massive internal bleeding.

The officers involved, including Humphreys, were criticized for failing to get proper medical treatment for Chasse.

A federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the Chasse family is still pending, accusing Portland police officers of excessive force and denying Chasse appropriate medical attention.

A separate lawsuit against Multnomah County was settled for $925,000.