Reformers, police chief agree on principles Concerned Citizens for Justice wants culture change, oversight

photo by Dave Waddell
Margaret Swick

by Dave Waddell

They aren’t yet holding hands and singing “Kumbaya,” but citizens wanting culture change at Chico PD are in basic agreement with Police Chief Mike O’Brien on principles for reform.

The group, Concerned Citizens for Justice (CCJ) — which will hold its monthly community meeting this evening — has produced a six-point plan for reform to encourage use of de-escalation practices by Chico police and to ensure there is training in behavioral health crisis intervention.

CCJ meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at Rhema Hall, 574 E. 12th St. in Chico. 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

Family sues deputies over shooting death Unarmed Palermo woman in mental crisis reversed car

Myra Micalizio, about seven years ago with her nephew Justin Widener, who is a police officer in Aurora, Colo.

by Dave Waddell

Above all else, her family says, Myra Micalizio of Palermo was a gentle woman who loved the Lord. And she got along really well with her imaginary friends as well.

Micalizio, 56, who lived with mental health issues, was shot dead April 26 in a hail of bullets from two Butte County sheriff’s deputies. On July 20, her family filed a federal civil rights complaint seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages from Butte County, sheriff’s deputies Charles Lair and Mary Barker, and Sheriff Kory Honea. 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

Citizen review of Chico police urged by group Phillips, Rushing shootings prompted six-point reform plan

photo by Karen Laslo

Emily Alma

By Dave Waddell

A group of citizens that has produced an ambitious “vision” for Chico police reform first came together last year after the officer-involved-shooting deaths of Desmond Phillips and Tyler Rushing.

“We were like magnets,” said Margaret Swick, a member of a group calling itself Concerned Citizens for Justice. “We were just pulled together. We were just concerned about the police shootings.”

On Monday (June 18) from 6 to 8:30 p.m., Concerned Citizens for Justice will give a community airing to its six-point program for “improving the climate of respect between law enforcement and the community.” One reform the group describes as “essential” is establishing “an independent, impartial citizen board with authority to review all police files.” The public meeting will be held at the Chico branch of the Butte County Library, 1108 Sherman Ave. read more

Scores of stolen guns found in Chico annually Most are pistols, but AR-15-style rifles are also recovered

ChicoSol and Tehama Group Communications infographic

by Gabriel Sandoval and Dave Waddell

Against a backdrop of rising gun thefts nationally, a stolen gun is recovered by authorities in Chico an average of once every eight days. And while nearly three-fourths of all stolen guns in the city are pistols, multiple stolen assault rifles are recovered each year.

That’s based on data from an 18-month investigation by The Trace, a nonprofit news organization, and more than a dozen NBC-owned television stations, which collected information on stolen guns from hundreds of law enforcement agencies and collaborated on a series of reports last year. read more