It's September 17, which is now etched on my brain along with my birthday (next week, I'd love a new tie, thanks for asking) as one of the most significant dates in the calendar year.
"I was downtown this afternoon and I picked up this week's Mercury, and I don't see any mention of James Chasse," said Copwatch activist Dan Handelman, leaving a message on my voicemail last night. Chide! Chide!
There's nothing about the third anniversary of James Chasse's death in the news section this week, mainly because there are other important stories to cover, and I tend to agree with rule one of this list about doing the job properly the first time around. But also, because I'm tired of writing anniversary stories with lines like this in them:
I do know that two years is an awfully long time to wait for an internal affairs investigation to be completed while the cops involved continue to walk the streets.
Just replace that with "three years," and we'll call it even. This story is dying, and despite the local media's attempts to keep it alive, and activists' attempts to keep it alive, the saddest thing is that the cold calculation by the police bureau and the city seems to be working. People forget shit. They lose their zeal.
Just look at the Recall Sam Adams effort, which admittedly, wasn't as important to begin with. The longer you leave something, the less it matters. Even when it matters. Only 264 people, so far, have signed a petition calling on the city to release the internal affairs investigation into Chasse's death. Go sign it if you care about this issue. Thanks. If you can get it to 300 names by lunch time, I may even feel less like punching myself in the face by then (for clarity: that's not meant as an incentive to resist signing).
So angry today, for the third year in a row.
While I pop a couple of tranquilizers you might like to read this story from July about new allegations in the suit. Or better yet, check out this interview by Trillium Shannon on KBOO yesterday, with local director Brian Lindstrom and mental health activist Jason Renaud, with whom I've been working on a documentary about Chasse's death. It includes audio clips from the film and some very amusing umming and erring about a release date for the movie. We're hoping for next year, to coincide with the case being in court. But who knows, really, whether there will even be an audience for the damned thing by then.