Autopsy: Phillips shot 11 times, not 10 Mortal heart wound from sharply downward shot

Phillips family photo Desmond Phillips

Phillips family photo

Desmond Phillips

by Dave Waddell

Desmond Phillips, a mentally ill young black man killed by Chico police on March 17, was hit by 11 bullets — not shot 10 times, as Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey has claimed — according to a forensic autopsy report reviewed by ChicoSol.

One of those 11 rounds hit Phillips in the nose and then re-entered his body through his chest, creating a total of 12 gunshot entry wounds, says the autopsy report. That same bullet, which the report says traveled in a downward direction at a “sharp angle,” tore through Phillips’ heart, causing his most grievous wound. read more

Swift siege leads to fatal shooting, family’s ire Home had calmed at time cops entered

photo by Karen LasloDelphine Norman, mother of Desmond Phillips, protests outside the April 17 town hall meeting held by Rep. Doug LaMalfa.

photo by Karen Laslo

Delphine Norman, mother of Desmond Phillips, protests outside the April 17 town hall meeting held by Rep. Doug LaMalfa.

by Dave Waddell

The night of Desmond Phillips’ March 17 killing, a Chico police officer shined a flashlight at a window a few paces to the left of the front door of his father’s apartment.

Before that door was forced open, before the knife-holding Desmond was first shot with a Taser and then riddled with police bullets, and before Dave Phillips, shocked and wailing, crawled down the hallway to his dying son’s side, the officer saw an eye peeking through the closed blind.

Behind the blind were Desmond Phillips’ two nephews, ages 12 and 18, together in one of the small home’s two locked bedrooms, on the phone with their mother. Dave Phillips, who had grown increasingly frantic about Desmond’s behavior, had locked himself in the other bedroom and was talking with a police dispatcher. read more

Fewer officers overall attend Butte crisis training ‘Memphis Model’ in county has been ‘opportunity lost’

photo by Dave Waddell

Sal Ventura

by Dave Waddell

During a period in which five people were killed by law enforcement in Butte County, overall attendance at the county’s annual week-long training program in crisis intervention has been in steep decline.

However, the Chico Police Department – roundly criticized for past absences at crisis intervention trainings – has stepped up participation since the killing of Desmond Phillips, a young black man in mental crisis.

Chico PD sent six officers Oct. 8-12 to the ninth annual Butte County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training, which was sponsored by Butte College and is patterned after the so-called Memphis Model approach to the treatment by police of individuals in mental crisis. read more

Appeals court reversal orders city, ex-sergeant to trial Fleeing teenager shot in back of her head in 2013 Chico police killing

Breanne Sharpe

by Dave Waddell

When activists from the group Justice for Desmond Phillips crashed a “Town Hall with DA Mike Ramsey” in Paradise last spring, the district attorney seemed eager to discuss the 2013 Chico police killing of 19-year-old Breanne Sharpe.

After one of those activists, Kat Lee, called out for justice for Sharpe, Phillips, Tyler Rushing “and every other life that’s been taken by Butte County law enforcement,” Ramsey steered the tense exchange to Sharpe’s shooting.

“It’s interesting what you say about Ms. Sharpe,” Ramsey told Lee at the May 18 town hall at Paradise Lutheran Church. “You know that a federal judge found that (shooting) to be justified? Do you know that? I mean, I’m just asking you: Do you know that?” read more

‘Angelversary’ of Rushing shooting observed Family of Palermo woman killed by deputies gains ‘voice’

photo courtesy of Rushing family

by Dave Waddell

A couple dozen citizens gathered Monday evening for an “angelversary” to remember the life and death of Tyler Rushing, one year to the day after he was killed in a downtown shooting involving Chico police.

“It’s a very hard day for us,” said Scott Rushing of Ventura, Tyler’s father. Rushing said he expects to experience “a lifetime of trauma” over the killing of his only son on July 23, 2017. The shooting involved a private security guard and a Chico police sergeant. read more

Sergeant in assault case logged massive overtime District attorney: Chokehold incident caught on body camera

ChicoSol/Tehama Group Communications graphic

by Dave Waddell

Scott Ruppel, a former police sergeant involved in two fatal shootings and facing an assault charge for an alleged on-duty choking incident, worked many thousands of hours of overtime during his nearly 20 years at Chico PD.

One year, Ruppel logged more than 700 overtime hours, becoming not only the highest-compensated employee in the city’s largest department but among the top five employees in total compensation in all of Chico municipal government.

Ruppel retired Sept. 15 prior to a scheduled internal affairs interview about police body camera footage allegedly showing the sergeant putting a handcuffed, seat-belted suspect into a stranglehold for eight seconds, said Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey. Ruppel, whose annual CalPERS pension is in the six figures, has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge of assault under “color of authority.” His next Superior Court date is set for Feb. 28. read more