Scrutiny needed in tragic deaths

14Jul09

Portland Policeoriginally published: 9th July 2009

The sad story of 42-year-old James P. Chasse Jr., who died in 2006 after a brutal encounter with police in downtown Portland, and the equally tragic case of 27-year-old Fouad Kaady, a Gresham resident who was killed a year earlier by police in Clackamas County, have more in common than allegations of police brutality.

Both cases prompted public outrage and intense media scrutiny. Both led to multimillion dollar wrongful-death lawsuits. And in neither case has the public received a satisfactory investigation and explanation for what appeared to be unnecessary use of force.

The Chasse and Kaady cases reappeared in the news last week when two public agencies agreed to settle lawsuits out of court. For Chasse’s family, it was Multnomah County that decided to pay $925,000 rather than defend its portion of a suit that will continue against the city of Portland and other defendants. Kaady’s family received a settlement of $1 million from the city of Sandy only and will continue to pursue a broader lawsuit against Clackamas County and one of its sheriff’s deputies.

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