Sheriff’s office responsive, Chico PD obstructive Two agencies, two different responses to our public records request

photo by Karen Laslo

Chico Police Chief Mike O’Brien

commentary by Dave Waddell

Last March, I spoke at a League of Women Voters of Butte County forum having to do with public access to law enforcement records.

That Sunshine Week forum, which included Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea and police reformers Emily Alma and Margaret Swick, gave me an opportunity to vent a bit about the most secretive public agency I’ve dealt with as a journalist: the city of Chico. read more

Demonstrators in plaza call for impeachment On 'impeachment eve,' Chicoans join nationwide mobilizations

photo by Karen Laslo
A demonstrator at City Plaza Tuesday evening shows his support for impeachment proceedings.

by Leslie Layton

More than 200 hundred people converged on Chico’s City Plaza Tuesday evening to support President Donald Trump’s impeachment, joining many thousands of people across the nation who mobilized.

Chico’s Jim Henson led a spirited series of chants as demonstrators waved signs, many saying, “Nobody is above the law,” until a man from a pro-Trump counter-protest that was also stationed at the plaza slipped into the middle of the larger group and raised a bright blue “Trump 2020” banner. Henson, who didn’t organize the event, then asked the pro-impeachment demonstrators to follow him to the City Council meeting and show support for sheltering the homeless; about half of the demonstrators followed him. read more

Chico cops report zero hate crimes in 2018 Anecdotal reports tell another story

photo by Karen Laslo
2017 Desmond Phillips vigil at Chico Police Department.

by Leslie Layton

Zero. That’s the number of hate crimes that took place in Chico in 2018, according to reports to the FBI from the Chico Police Department and Chico State’s University Police Department.

That zero doesn’t reflect what happened to an African American man, who has said he was pelted with beer cans last year by several white people in a pickup truck who were using the N-word. He never reported the incident to police, but his girlfriend saw the bruises. read more

Jan. 1 event set for Desmond Phillips, AB392 Chico PD victim’s life, new state law to be celebrated

Desmond Phillips

by Dave Waddell

A celebration to both remember the life of Desmond Phillips and to ring in a new state law governing police killings will be held on the first day of 2020.

The Jan. 1 potluck will include music and speakers and be held from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Faith Lutheran Church of Chico, 667 E. First Ave. The public is encouraged to participate by the sponsoring Justice for Desmond Phillips group, said David Phillips, Desmond’s father. read more

Students clash over #Walkaway event Chico State says it will defend free speech

photo by Karen Laslo
A student protester sat alone this morning before more students gathered.

by Leslie Layton

Chico State staffers were gathering this morning on a campus walkway in an effort to prevent any more altercations over the tactics of the campus Republican club. But today, instead of noisy protesting, a video posted on social media showed a group of protesters dancing to music as they faced the club’s booth.

The campus newspaper The Orion reported an altercation or altercations had occurred earlier in the week as the Republican club promotes its #Walkaway event that will bring controversial speakers to campus this evening. The club had erected two booths on the walkway by Meriam Library this morning, where they had hoisted multiple American flags, a Blue Lives Matter flag and a pro-Trump banner. read more

Struggling to find hope at Yuba County Jail Chico activist visits a third immigrant detainee, one of a trio of "castaways"

jail photo from Faithful Friends

by Chris Nelson

The man I met during a late October visit to the Yuba County Jail has a kind face, wears glasses and has a neat, graying hairstyle. He was the third inmate I’ve met through a visitation program run by Faithful Friends, a group that arranges visits for immigrant detainees.

As a nurse, I know that anecdotal information does not make a truth. Yet, I’m struck by the similarities among the three men I’ve visited, and I see truth emerging through the presence of these castaway humans. read more