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

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

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

Almond Bowl T-shirt design at Chico High stirs debate Winning design opens doors for Latinx students

VOCES Latinxs at Chico High produced the winning design for the school’s Almond Bowl T-shirt that includes a sugar skull-like image.

essay by Denise Minor

On the surface, this story appears to be about a disagreement over the T-shirt design chosen to commemorate this year’s Almond Bowl, the cross-town football game that each fall marks athletic rivalry between two local high schools.

But beneath the surface, the story is really about how we, as individuals and a society, choose the symbols and imagery we find acceptable to represent ourselves to the rest of the world. And beyond that, it is about the divisions between whom we view as “us” and “them.” read more

Wrestling with the climate threat to human civilization "Maybe our purpose is not to go gently"

Anna Blackmon Moore

by Anna Blackmon Moore
commentary

When I was 16, I was watching a sitcom on my 8-inch black and white TV. Outside my bedroom window, the sun had set. At the start of a commercial, it occurred to me that I was wracked with fear and dread. By the commercial’s end, the dread had anchored itself inside my body— my chest, my limbs, my temples.

I wasn’t better the following day; I wasn’t better the following week. Anxiety became incapacitating. Two months later, I was taking a now ancient antidepressant, beginning what would become a lifelong path of medication and treatment. read more

Cop who shot Desmond also Tased Tyler Officer Fliehr's combat history disclosed in testimony

Desmond Phillips

by Dave Waddell
news analysis

Chico police officer Alex Fliehr, who fired first and the most in the Desmond Phillips killing, has testified about trying to shoot Tyler Rushing three months later. In the confrontation that killed Rushing, Fliehr also shot a Taser as Rushing lay prone, motionless and unarmed.

Those facts and others – including that Fliehr saw “action” in the Iraq war – have emerged in sworn testimony during depositions for wrongful death lawsuits filed against the city of Chico by the Phillips and Rushing families. The two men were both experiencing mental disorders when shot to death in 2017. read more