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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 17, 2010 5:33 AM. The previous post in this blog was "High levels of public indebtedness could weigh on economic growth for years". The next post in this blog is When the music stops, find a seat. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Adams invents the internet

I see the City of Portland has met in person with the family of Keaton Otis:

Parents of a troubled Portland man shot by police met with Mayor Sam Adams and his new police chief, Mike Reese.

Adams says the the group agreed that more should be done to help the city's mentally ill.

Even before this recent shooting, Mayor Adams had placed a "mental health triage center" in his final budget.

He says the triage center would serve as an information and referral hub for police and those families trying to find help for someone suffering from mental illness. Adams says the center would also help ill citizens in crisis avoid conflict with police....

For Keaton Otis -- and others who may have fallen through the cracks -- Adams says it's important police not become their first and only contact in times of crisis. He wants his proposed mental health triage center to serve families in crisis at least until federal universal health care kicks in within three to four years.

So now it's "his" project? Last summer, it was the county's project, when the county paid out close to a million dollars in the Chasse lawsuit:

The 16-bed crisis center in Northeast Portland -- to be funded with county, city, state and federal dollars -- will take those suffering a mental health crisis such as suicidal or violent thoughts, hallucinations and severe anxiety.

"The fact that Jim Chasse suffered from schizophrenia and was acting in a manner hostile to the police called out for the need," Wheeler said. "A community of this size should have appropriate services."

The center will provide for up to 10 days of assessment and treatment, monitor medication and come up with a plan for patients once they leave the center, said Joanne Fuller, director of the county Department of Human Services.

I wonder how many police killings will be papered over with the prospect of this center, and how many politicians will claim it as their own, before it finally opens.

That the Mean Girls allowed the last such facility to close in 2003 is nothing short of criminal. The blood really seems to be on their hands.

But would the triage center have helped Otis? It's not clear that it would have. Look at what was said when the county settled the Chasse case:

Still, [Terri Walker, board president of the National Alliance on Mental Health Multnomah,] said the new center doesn't go far enough. In the end, it's still for people in crisis, she said, but doesn't address the needs of people who are on the verge of crisis and find it hard to get help in Multnomah County.

"I hear from family members whose loved ones can't get help until they have to be a danger to themselves or others," she said. "People are told they have to be naked standing on top of a bridge before you can get help. As long as we think like that in this county, people are going to be in danger."

Chillingly similar to what Otis's parents said last week:

We want to bring light to the limited options and restrictive laws preventing families from intervening earlier. In the future we want to expand the law’s definition of harm to self or others for a civil commitment to include additional significant symptoms.
It's going to take a lot more than a triage center to put an end to the tragic stories in Portland, I'm afraid. But at least if the police beat a guy to within an inch of his life, they'll take him there rather than to jail. Maybe he'll survive.

Comments (13)

Back in the Eighties, Texas voters used to refer to that as "Grammstanding". Former Senator Phil Gramm (you might remember him helping scuttle John McCain's Presidential ambitions by referring to people wondering what the GOP was going to do about the economy as "a nation of whiners") was famous for going out of his way to fight Texas colleagues' proposals for legislation and pulling every dirty trick he could think of to kill a bill of which he disapproved. (Considering that he resigned his post because he was referred to as "the esteemed Senator from Enron," you can imagine what bills he disagreed with.) If it looked like it was going to be inevitable, though, he'd gleefully shove aside the actual proponent and take credit for the whole thing. Ol' Phil had a tropism for television cameras: Molly Ivins related how she and Marilyn Schwartz of the Dallas Morning News were very nearly stomped by Gramm as he was rushing to get in front of a CBS television camera during the 1988 Republican National Convention, and they weren't the first bystanders to taste his loafers.

Looks like you guys have an incipient Phil Gramm in your midst. What's scary is that he could be planning for bigger and better office, so start checking his travel records for clues for his Senate run after he's finished screwing over Portland.

If Sam runs for office after this, the Portland exodus will really get up a full head of steam.

I thought that the Oregonian reported that Mr. Otis did not want help. The story implied that the family wanted to have him committed, but had to jump through too many hoops because he was an adult. You can build a triage center as easily as you can lead a horse to water ...

[H]ow many politicians will claim it as their own, before it finally opens.

If it's like the Bus Project, anyone who walks within a block of the place will claim they are a co-founder.

Looks like he's embracing the advice of one of his apologists, Anna Griffin:

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/anna_griffin/index.ssf/2010/05/my_advice_to_the_mayor_sam_ada.html

By the way, Anna--seriously? Over time, your articles become more and more contortionist in the attempt to make Adams appear credible. Your re-invention of his pre-election behavior was particularly stunning in its dishonesty.

Maybe Anna Griffin is gunning for Amy Ruiz's job ...

I've kinda thought the whole 'mentally ill' spin was used to work in conjunction with yet more spin via accusations of racism. The straight racism ploy belly-flopped on the whole Campbell deal and it's painfully obvious media is just seeking tenacious spin here.

Could be this was just a strong young male who took exception to being hassled by the pigs. Could be that I don't blame him one whit for going-off. Could be that an affirmative defense for violating our own state statutes governing citizen-arrest is no license to treat me inhumanely during the course of routine enforcement. Could be that I so ardently oppose Police policy in this city that I'd rather die than to capitulate, and willfully allow them to take me into custody. Could be that the police having been off their chain, collectively, for decades and it's time to fight back. Literally.

'Mentally ill' my hind-parts. This kid just got pissed at his attackers and acted accordingly. What would you do?

"If Sam runs for office after this, the Portland exodus will really get up a full head of steam."

Is there a Portland exodus? I exited, but I'm pretty sure I didn't start a trend, because I'm a nobody.

However, I've wondered if the whole "a million people are going to move here in the next 20 years" Metro-PSU planning world has died a quiet death. And is the city's population beginning to ebb?

Now, that's a story.

GLomming on to someone else's accomplishments? What did you expect the entire City Council has the same pathology.

I confess to knowing little about the Otis case, but in the Chasse case, paramedics on scene declared him fine, and able to be taken to jail. It seems to me that the cops acted upon medical advice, and since paramedics generally err on the side of caution, I don't understand the demonization of the cops in that case. Had they ignored paramedic assessment, it would make a degree of sense.

I don't understand the demonization
of the cops in that case.

Yeah, beating a guy to death because he might have peed on a tree and then ran away from you -- nothing wrong there.

Declared "fine" with 26 rib fractures. Uh huh.

I protest Wheeler's comments, too. I wish I had seen them before I voted, because it is spouting the party line that Chasse was responsible for his own death. Shame on you Ted Wheeler.

Chasse was not hostile -- his actions were purely defensive at every stage of the encounter. Of course we are still waiting for all the documents in this case so we can see what credible witnesses say. But what I've picked up from snippets of independent reporting make clear that Chasse did nothing to provoke the cops other than look fragile in a public place.

First: There was no complaint, no call, no dispatch, no disturbance -- NOTHING. Just a slight young man with a mental illness hanging out in his own neighborhood, as he had every right to do, five blocks from his place, in which he was living independently, as he had every right to do.

Second: When the cops advanced on him, he asked what he had done. Only when this was answered with silence and further aggressive advance did he try to run away. Only when he was tackled did he try to fight back.


Bronch - I did not intend to suggest that Chasse was hostile. My point was that Chasse was acting in a manner perceived to be hostile by the police (according to news reports). I have no facts to support that he was, in fact, hostile. The reports that would support/not support that fact have yet to be realeased. I regret my poor choice of words.


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