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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jim-Jim Chasse died in vain

The Portland police haven't learned a thing. They just keep using deadly force on mentally ill people. Here's number 6 for the year -- and the second in less than two weeks.

No word on whether the deranged guy is going to survive. The police shot him less than a minute after they made contact with him.

I thought Amanda and the boys were going to stop the city from prescribing a death penalty for mental illness. That most definitely ain't happening.

Comments (28)

As long as it's the fast track to promotion, why should they give it up?

There's a type of mental illness running rampant in PPD and the DA's office. God help us.

tactically speaking, how exactly would you use your 60 seconds to disarm a man advancing at you with a machete?

Lets see, his folks are holed up in the house trying to survive their son and his machete cutting loose in and out of their house. They call the cops who know this guy well it seems from other run ins they have had with him. They show up and he is wielding his machete with abandon leaving according to the paper quite a bit of carnage in his path.

Using this scenario and knowing the history of Portland and how it treats its cops in this type of situation. The best thing the cops should have done is call the folks out and let them negotiate with their deranged son and hope for the best.

The cop's defense on doing this would be. That past performance is indicative of future results and they wanted no part of another deranged soul and the armchair quarterback's judgment six months down the road.

Keep Portland weird, just don't call the cops if it gets too weird.

I side with the cops on this one. They were called to the scene by the parents, who were very scared for their own lives. The cops tried to use two different less-than-lethal methods of stopping the guy from advancing on them, but the methods didn't work. If they had retreated or not shown up at all, the parents might be dead by now. Short of having a psychiatrist with them, which isn't practical, what else could the cops have done? My only concern, at least based on what we know up to this point, is about the number of shots that were fired.

"The best thing the cops should have done is call the folks out and let them negotiate with their deranged son and hope for the best."

I'll assume you are serious. The guy stated he wanted to commit "suicide by cops" (all death panel references aside). I'd have to side with the police also if they have to face someone like this and with no inkling of what the heck is going on in his head otherwise.

Now if you wanted to complain instead of dropping $725M on a train (or $30M on one street) spending it on the mentally ill, I'd agree.

There are about a million ways a platoon of paramilitaries could subdue a person armed with a machete - short of shooting him with a gun. They tried 2. Guns are the first choice of the police. Sure, they give the less-than-lethal means a half-hearted attempt - because the rules of contact compel them to do so. Their tool of preference is the high-capacity semi-auto lead sprayer.

It would be nice to offer a meaningful suggestion as to how even the best mental health professional in the world would deal with someone charging at them with a machete.

Isn't it time we started blaming someone but the cops in these situations? Shouldn't we be looking in the mirror? We may not have voted for those who made the decisions, but choices have been made at the federal and state level not only to shutter mental hospitals, but to cut funding for the treatment of mental diseases. Unless that basic situation changes, we can only look for repeat after repeat of this sort of event.

I rather suspect that killing "problem people" is
the way things are going to be after Reese so
stupidly gave Leo Besner a promotion to Sergeant
two weeks ago, and thus, in doing so, signaled
the "Good Old Boys" that the new policy was
KILL-AT-WILL and we'll take care of you at the
upper-levels of PPB...might even give you a big
promotion ((wink! wink!))...we'll take all the flak
and you just keeping on shooting!


If you would post your contact information, I'm sure the PoPo would be glad to give you 60 seconds to try and disarm the next maniac with a machete they encounter. Failing that, I believe you are being naive.

The flaw in your proposed strategy is that the PPB doesn't field "platoons of paramilitaries"; rather, they usually dispatch cops (many of whom are on the smallish side or female) who are frequently alone in their squad cars. They are not trained for, nor adequately compensated to engage in hand-to-hand combat with anybody. Least of all those who are swinging a 20" machete.

Discussion and criticism now is fun but the details aren't out yet. In the Chasse case getting the complete, accurate details took a couple years I think.

How aggressive were the police in approaching Lagozzino?

Did Lagozinno move rapidly toward the police on their arrival.

How much did the police try to talk to Lagozinno?

Was Lagozinno actually trying to enter his parents home or just breaking windows?

Here is the link for Jack and everyone that thinks they know everything and can do a better job. Prove it. Oh wait, that's right, none of you will........

Simple solution: have an interdisciplinary commando team of psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers standing by 24/7/365 ready to chopper in at a moment's notice to disarm weapon-wielding psychos with jedi mind tricks.

Here’s the thing. If they pull the trigger too late, innocent people get hurt. On time, and they did the right thing (sometimes). Early, and they are deemed killers.

We could design robots to do the job I guess, but there would be more folks getting killed in the end. Fact is, the vast majority of these suicidal efforts are circumvented by cops able to bring an out of control circumstance under control.

I'm not going to blame them for an unfunded failed mental health system in Oregon.

Many years ago I experienced a crazed individual coming at me with a 4" knife. A few words were spoken, but it did nothing to curb his zest. He didn't even know who I was. He was probably high on cocaine. I didn't even have time to think how choosing the right words, or presenting myself in a non-threatening position had anything to do with managing the situation-it all happened in less than 20 seconds. From what we know today of this incident, please give the police a break.

A machete is a lethal weapon. Google "machete attack."

I have a huge problem with the distinction being made between the way the police should respond to a "mentally ill" person threatening others with a lethal weapon and a "sane" person threatening others with a lethal weapon... Is there such a thing as a "sane" person threatening parents, destroying property, then advancing on the police with a lethal weapon? I don't think so. So there is no distinction, and the police confronted lethal force with lethal force after trying other options.

In the comments on the "O" one person asks, "What if a young babysitter was walking home and encountered this guy?" I'm glad he got taken out before he did hurt someone.

Obviously they should have shown up in mine skirts and pom poms.

Sam would approve.

We keep hearing about mental illness associated and blame this or that.
In my opinion, also look at the pharmaceuticals.
The relationship of anti-depressants and suicide and violence has been written about, but we seldom get an in depth write up after a tragedy, of any history of the person’s mental condition, what drugs they may have been on and/or why these individuals have become violent.

As I read the article in the Oregonian (which appears to be the source for most if not all of the information commenters are using to form their opinions about this incident) the police decided to "advance" on the guy, and that decision is what provoked the confrontation which, predictably, led to shots being fired less than a minute later. One of the police experts identified in the article is quoted saying that correct strategy in this type of situation is for the police to keep their distance from the person and initiate communication. From the article, it does not sound like they made much effort to do that. Instead, it sounds like they took action that would almost certainly escalate things to the point where (apologies to South Park) officers could claim, accurately, that "He's comin' right for us!" before emptying their magazines into the guy.

Also, I could think of a lot of ways officers could get the other family members out of the house safely without provoking a deadly confrontation with the son. Maybe bring them out the back door of the house? Just an idea.

The Chasse case was a horse of an entirely different color than this one. It sounds like the cops had no choice on this one. If the guy had been just standing there brandishing the machete in a threatening manner maybe they would have had time to try to talk some sense into him. Obviously the guy is intent on committing serious bodily harm on someone if he's charging at them with a big 'ol machete, and I don't really see any other tactical option than shooting him if he continues to come at people after getting shot with bean bags and Tasers. This is in stark contrast to the 55 year old deranged alcoholic armed with an Exacto knife with a 1" blade who could have been taken care of with a night stick or Taser.

What did the police do differently here than what they've always done in Portland? Nothing. All the hot air that City Hall blew after the Chasse killing was false. We still have the death penalty for mental illness.

I hear you Jack, and I have someone who is very close to me with a long-standing severe mental illness who I worry about along these lines. Unfortunately, by the time it gets to the point where they are charging at police with a machete pretty much all they can do is shoot to protect themselves or others. It's almost like police need to have nets or tranquilizer guns because it can be like trying to control a wild animal when a mentally ill person gets unstable. When the person is on drugs, is large and strong or has a weapon things can get really ugly, really fast.

The ugly truth is that it probably costs less for the city to pay out hush money to bereaved families on a one-by-one basis than provide a mental health safety net to the whole.

Regarding the Usual Kevin's comments above. There used to be a blanket type device that could be used in situations like this. I saw one some years ago but haven't seen it since.

"Now if you wanted to complain instead of dropping $725M on a train (or $30M on one street) spending it on the mentally ill, I'd agree."

" We still have the death penalty for mental illness."

I can't imagine things getting better until the state leaves the dark ages vis a vis mental illness and mental health.

Depression and anxiety run in my mother's family. Being on the high strung side, I have taken care of my mental health by availing myself of therapy whenever I felt it was necessary. I grew up in Palo Alto California where this was what people did; it wasn't considered a stigma.

That isn't the case in oh-so progressive Portland. Because of something a law school classmate said about me after we had an argument, my mental health became an issue with the Oregon State Bar. Both the classmate and I had been in therapy, as many law students were to handle stress. I had never been diagnosed with a mental illness and was in therapy to handle what are called "adjustment issues". Thereafer, I was admitted to the bar and began to practice law. I represented ordinary people in land use and animal law disputes. That is where I learned some ugly truths about "Smart Growth" and animal shelter management. A tecnique opponents used was to report me to the bar saying that I was insane and should submit to a psycological evaluation. This wad concurrent in all cases with my pointing out an abuse to someone I thought would be interested in the proper functioning of the legal system.
I had submitted to a psychological evaluation once before I was admitted to the bar and the results showed no abnormalites. I refused to do it again every time I said something someone in power didn't like.

The third time it happened, I brought a civil rights lawsuit against OSB bad actors and the lawyers who participated. Thinking back on how I had to get a judge's order just to get service copies, I remember that
t was one thing after another constituting an obstacle to my bringing the suit; I am not really a trial lawyer, but when I consulted with someone who was I thought was the best at the time, he said "If you don't drop this lawsuit, I will have Marc Blackman impose sanctions against you". I told him I must have missed the class in law school where they taught how that was possible. Finally, my 9th Circuit appeal was thrown out because I supposedly did not meet the federal notice pleading standard. The pleadings belie the decision which was unpublished at the time. But now, when one googles my name, that is one of the first things that comes up, making me look like an idiot.

In 2001, I was diagnosed with depression. If I say that Churchill and Lincoln were depressives, then according to OSB types, that must mean I am delusional. There is no remedy for how badly anyone with nervous or more severe mental illness is treated in Oregon

Lots of small-time lawyers go through similar hell. see

I have lost my only sibling due to mental illness and the BS this place calls 'progressive'. The truth is, as is mentioned many times over and over again in this blog, is that Oregon and Portland in particular are nothing more than bastions of Old South style cronyism hiding behind 'Save the Planet' slogans and bumper-stickers.

That is terrible, jc. Stories about the sordid underbelly of this place should be reaching those who the news media has been trying to convince Portland is a genuinely enlightened city.


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