Political Action Committee Attacks Again, Undeterred by State Probe Investigation sparked by ChicoSol story continues

By Dave Waddell

Seemingly undeterred by a state investigation into its activities, a political action committee is following a script in this year’s Chico City Council race that is similar to the one that brought scrutiny to its politicking two years ago.

The PAC, called Butte County Awareness and Accountability, widely distributed a mailer in recent days that lambasts council liberals Ann Schwab, Tami Ritter and Randall Stone. All three face re-election Nov. 8, along with conservative Vice Mayor Sean Morgan.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) opened an investigation in August into Butte County Awareness and Accountability and its treasurer, Thomas Kozik, as a result of a ChicoSol story that can be read here.

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Investigators Hunt Cell Phone Missing from Police Evidence CSUC Students Claim Retaliation for Filming, Excessive Force

Madeline Hemphill

photo by Bianca Quilantan

Madeline Hemphill demonstrates the grip that the students say officer Dyke used on Nicole Braham.

by Dave Waddell and Bianca Quilantan

What happened to Madeline Hemphill’s cell phone and the video she says would prove excessive force by Chico police?

It’s a question central to law enforcement investigations of the Aug. 27 arrests of Hemphill and her roommate and fellow Chico State student Nicole Braham.
A second cell phone video from the arrest scene — shot by Telvina Patino, a third roommate and Chico State student – has been viewed tens of thousands of times on YouTube and can be seen here.

Chico community activist Emily Alma has labeled the arrests an “excessive force event.” Also critical of police handling of the incident has been Michael Coyle, an associate professor of political science at Chico State. Coyle, who teaches criminal justice courses, said that if good policing means de-escalating situations, what’s shown in the video are poor police practices. “The video looks more like a basic training on how to escalate a situation, physically put someone in pain, and make them afraid of police,” said Coyle, who chairs the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) board in Chico. “Whatever happened to community policing?”

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