Portland officer on leave after shooting girl with beanbag gun

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by DAVID KROUGH / KGW.com

NWCN.com

Posted on November 20, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 20 at 9:58 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Portland Police officer investigated in the death of James Chasse has been placed on administrative leave after shooting a 12-year-old girl in the thigh with a beanbag gun during an incident at a MAX stop Saturday night.

Officer Christopher Humphrey shot the girl with a beanbag gun after she attacked officers trying to arrest her, police Chief Rosie Sizer said Thursday.

Video surveillance of the confrontation was captured on a TriMet surveillance camera of the incident involving Officer Aaron Dauchy and Officer Christopher Humphreys.

“After reviewing the video, I am troubled by it," Chief Sizer said as she announced that Officer Humphreys had been placed on paid administrative leave. Sizer said the Internal Affairs Division would conduct an immediate and full investigation into whether the use of force was justified.

"The actions I witnessed on the video are not consistent with my expectations and what I believe are the community's expectations for a Portland police Officer," said Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman.

A Portland Police Union spokesperson reacted angrily to the decision, saying the Police Chief and Commissioner were treating Humphreys unfairly.

Officer investigated in Chasse death

Humphreys was cleared of any wrongdoing in the 2006 death of 42-year-old James Chasse.

Chasse was tackled by officers in Old Town and taken to jail. He later died on the way to a hospital.

In August, 2009, the Multnomah County Commission voted to pay the family of James Chasse $925,000 as a settlement to a civil lawsuit filed over the mentally ill man's death.

The county decided not to pursue criminal charges against Officer Humphrey in the case.

Earlier In November, Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman recently recommended Humphreys be suspended for his role in the incident.

Officers were responding to large party

Investigators said just before 11 p.m. Saturday, Dauchy and Humphreys were called to a large party at 162nd and Northeast Halsey. Sizer said the party was attended by groups of suspected gang members. A gun had also been recovered from some brush in the area, officers said. Police said between 75 and 100 teens were leaving the party.

One group went to a nearby bus stop and were angrily shouting about wanting to fight. Portland and Gresham officers said as soon as police arrive the groupo began to disband.

According to Sizer, Dauchy saw a girl who he knew had been excluded from riding the MAX as part of a group of teens that got on a train at the stop on 162nd.

When the train pulled in to the stop at 148th, police said Dauchy saw another boy he knew was on the TriMet exclusion list and took him into custody.

Investigators said as he began to take the 12-year-old girl into custody, she hit him in the face and resisted arrest.

Police said officers repeated warnings to her to stop resisting or she would be hit with a beanbag gun, Officer Humphreys fired the weapon at her thigh at close range. Investigators said "she became compliant and the officers began to take her into custody when she began to resist again."

Another officer arrived and they were able to handcuff her, and medics were told she had a bruised thigh but did not need to be taken to the hospital.

The girl was charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and interfering with public transportation.

“I believe it is the best interest of the community and the members of the Portland Police Bureau to quickly act and investigate this fully. I ask the community and the media to remember that there is a juvenile involved and therefore, we are being very careful in providing the public records protection regarding her identity that is afforded to juveniles,” said Chief Sizer.

Police said they were in contact with the girl’s mother.
 

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