Chasse death leads to foot pursuit training for police

Chasse death leads to foot pursuit training for police

James Chasse

Print
Email
|

by By Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 15 at 2:18 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The death of a mentally ill suspect following a foot pursuit has led Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer to make sure officers consider the severity of the crime before giving chase.

James Chasse, 42, was pursued and then tackled by officers who said he appeared to be urinating outdoors on Sept. 17, 2006.

Officers later drove Chasse to the hospital, but he died on the way. An autopsy showed he had 26 rib fractures, and concluded the death was caused by blunt force trauma to the chest.

Prompted by an internal review of the case, Sizer, in a memo to her assistant chiefs, ordered the production of a roll-call video to highlight the danger of foot pursuits and the bureau's "knock-down technique," according to The Oregonian newspaper, which obtained the memo through a public records request.

Sizer also asked staff to start compiling statistics on foot chases.

"It will give us an opportunity to take a systematic look at when we're chasing people, in what kind of circumstances and are we making good choices," said Assistant Chief Lynnae Berg.

In July 2006, two months before Chasse's death, the bureau adopted its first written directive on foot pursuits, calling them "inherently dangerous." Training, however, did not immediately follow.

Chasse's family has a federal civil rights lawsuit pending against the city, chief and mayor. Tom Steenson, the family's attorney, said the training ordered by Sizer appears to emphasize what's already written in the 2006 directive.

Print
Email
|