Mayor Charlie Hales will attend Friday's premiere of Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse, the scathing documentary about the police killing of James Chasse in 2006, his office has confirmed.
The movie, WW reviewer AP Kryza says, "plays out like a horror film and leaves you absolutely breathless."
The filmmakers—director Brian Lindstrom and screenwriter Matt Davis, a former Portland Mercury editor—make the case through interviews and footage that Chasse was schizophrenic but largely harmless, and after his death was portrayed as a monster in a cover-up by the Portland Police Bureau.
Hales' attendance at the police-indicting documentary could be seen as further pressure for the bureau to clean up its act in the wake of last year's U.S. Department of Justice investigation. After 18 months in the city, the feds found a "pattern and practice" of excessive force against people with mental illness.
Portland, under a court order, is committing more than $5 million to institute reforms, including deescalation training, special mental health units, a mental health triage center and more.
Hales has named reforming Portland's police—and a return to "community policing"—as one of his top priorities.
Alien Boy premieres 7 pm Friday, at Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave.