Community celebrates Desmond Phillips’ life 'Justice for Desmond Phillips' group plans Capitol rally

photo by Dave Waddell

photo by Dave Waddell

by Dave Waddell

Hundreds of area residents turned out Sunday evening to celebrate the life of Desmond Phillips, a mentally ill black man gunned down March 17 by Chico police.

Money from the barbecue/entertainment fundraiser at 20th Street Park will be used by the Phillips family to seek justice for Phillips, organizers said.

Next up for the group will be a June 9 rally beginning at 3 p.m. at the state Capitol in Sacramento, where demonstrators will march to the California Attorney General’s Office seeking a state probe of the killing.

“It went just wonderful,” said David Phillips, Desmond’s father, of Sunday’s fundraiser. “So many people there, and so much love. People from different walks of life enjoying each other. And that’s Desmond right there.” read more

Scaled-back plans to arm park rangers Speakers differ on whether guns aid park safety

photo by Karen LasloElaina McReynolds

photo by Karen Laslo

Elaina McReynolds

by Dave Waddell

A proposal to turn Bidwell Park’s three rangers into Chico police officers was scaled back Tuesday to arming just two of them as cops and having the third ranger work to bolster park volunteerism.

The so-called “hybrid” plan, outlined by Chris Constantin, assistant city manager, drew mixed reactions from members of the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission, as well as mostly skepticism from citizens who spoke at a public hearing.

In an oddity at such hearings, one speaker, Dan Everhart, was interrupted twice during his brief testimony by commissioners who disagreed with his comments – first, pointedly, by Tom Nickell and a second time by Jeffrey Glatz. Commission Chair Marisa Stoller reminded commissioners that the purpose of the hearing was to receive public comments, and Glatz later apologized. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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

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.

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