Professor blasts Chico cops in fatal shooting Police should act as 'peacekeepers,' not 'gunslingers'

Diane E. Schmidt
Diane E. Schmidt

by Dave Waddell

In an unusually pointed letter, a veteran professor in Chico State’s criminal justice program has blasted the killing of Desmond Phillips by Chico police as showing “extraordinarily poor training, flawed judgment, and gross ineptitude.”

Phillips, a 25-year-old mentally ill black man, was shot 10 times by two officers in his father’s living room just 21 minutes after medical aid was first called to help him March 17.

In a letter dated May 15 to Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey, Professor Diane E. Schmidt called Phillips’ shooting both a failure of training by Chico PD and of oversight by officials such as Ramsey. The district attorney did not immediately return a call from ChicoSol seeking response to Schmidt’s letter.

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Police-the-park plan is a “fork in the road” Public safety, park rangers and disposable people

photo by Karen LasloSome rangers are not interested in undergoing police training.

photo by Karen Laslo

Some rangers are not interested in undergoing police training.

by Steve Breedlove

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face forever” – George Orwell.

At this moment, Chico’s unelected city bureaucrats are in the process of moving Park Rangers into the Police Department, arming them and sidelining their function as naturalists and stewards of our recreational commons. Apparently, “broken windows” enforcement of minor infractions is the preferred method of addressing very real and material social problems.

In a public hearing (April 24 Parks Commission), the assistant city manager tried to deflect the dissent of citizens in attendance, advising us that the Council had not approved it. Curiously, he also argued it was imperative to set Police Academy dates this calendar year.

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Group may ask for CPD citizen oversight board David Phillips pushes for independent probe of police killing

photo by Karen LasloDave Phillips at a recent meeting of Chico City Council

photo by Karen Laslo

Dave Phillips at a recent meeting of Chico City Council

by Dave Waddell

In the wake of the killing of Desmond Phillips, community activists expressed support Monday for establishing a citizen board to review the Chico Police Department’s internal investigations.

Pastor Vince Haynie said proponents of citizen oversight are researching the practice in other cities and gathering support from various community groups.

“In light of recent events, we really need that,” Haynie said at the May 1 meeting of the Human Relations Network of Butte County.

Haynie’s reference was to the killing of Phillips, who was black, mentally ill and 25 years old. Phillips was shot 10 times by officers Alex Fliehr and Jeremy Gagnebin on March 17 in his father’s living room.

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Professor finds a home in nature Former KZFR host keeps it simple in classroom

photo by Karen LasloRandy Larson

photo by Karen Laslo

Randy Larsen

By Hannah Panten

In an “Environmental Ethics” class of 10 students who would rather be sleeping, it’s a few minutes before 8 a.m. when Randy Larsen enters, exclaiming “good morning scholars!” with a wide grin and scruffy beard.  Pulling up a chair to the family-dinner-style seating arrangement, Larsen begins class with his usual pep (and his red, ceramic coffee mug, of course).

When interrupted by a student trailing into class late, he greets the tardy student with a genuine, “thanks for coming,” then proceeds teaching.  Sporting a plain T-shirt, patched denim, and a neon-green knit hat, his appearance sums up his personality and teaching style quite well — unconventional and refreshingly simple.

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New tool helps track hate incidents ChicoSol helps document rise in hate crime and bias incidents

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New America Media editorial

Editor’s note: ChicoSol is participating in a national project to document hate incidents around the country. The following editorial, courtesy of our partner New America Media, explains the project and provides a reporting form.

Since the 2016 election there has been an alarming increase in reports of hate incidents around the country. Reports range from vandalism and hate-fueled graffiti to physical attacks and shootings.

The reports come amid heightened fear and anxiety within immigrant and minority communities, fueled by the rhetoric of the campaign, and by statements and policies from the current administration.

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March for Science in Chico attracts crowd Science supporters celebrate Earth Day with rally and march

photos by Karen Laslo

photos by Karen Laslo

About a thousand people gathered at Trinity Commons on the CSUC campus Saturday to listen to speeches about the importance of scientific study and how science can help save the planet from environmental degradation. A march through Chico followed, in solidarity with a large event in Washington, D.C., and marches around the world to stand up for the value of scientific study. Who knew that in 2017, science would be considered subversive in some circles and Americans would feel compelled to stand up for an academic discipline.