PORTLAND -- The Portland City Council made final approval Wednesday of a $1.6 million settlement with the family of James Chasse Jr., who died in police custody in 2006.
Chasse died September 17th of that year after he was tackled by police officers who chased him for allegedly urinating in public. He was also shot with a stun gun.
In addition to the financial settlement, the city will be releasing reports on the case which had not been made public. Chasse family attorney Tom Steenson said release of those reports will go through a brief legal process and should be ready for viewing in mid-August.
The Chasse family issued a statement through Steenson. It reads in part:
The truth is that a civil suit seems to be the only form of justice that our local system will allow when police are involved in a killing. Clearly, the local criminal justice system and the Police Bureau s internal disciplinary groups, both working hand-in-hand daily with the police themselves, are not currently capable of pursuing the public s interests with these issues.
Officers took him first to the Multnomah County jail but a nurse told them Chasse could not be booked in his condition. He died on the way to the hospital.
An autopsy revealed that Chasse suffered 26 rib fractures and a punctured lung. The autopsy concluded the death was caused by blunt force trauma to the chest.
Of the $1.6 million, about $766,000 will be paid immediately by the city and about $276,000 by the city's insurance company. The balance will be paid out by the insurance company in monthly payments over the next five to seven years to attorneys for the Chasse family.
The family had already settled for $925,000 with Multnomah County for a sheriff's deputy involved in the death, and a reported $600,000 with an ambulance company.