‘Cluster of mistakes’ by officers in Rushing killing Cop experts: Police dog attack on Tyler caused flailing

photo courtesy of Rushing family

Tyler Rushing

by Dave Waddell

A law enforcement veteran who is also a police dog expert has called the strategy used to apprehend wounded Tyler Rushing “a cluster of mistakes from the time the officers knew where Rushing was barricaded, until he was shot and killed.”

Ernest Burwell, a Thompson Falls, Mont.-based consultant, was hired by Rushing’s family to study and evaluate the July 23, 2017, shooting of the 34-year-old Ventura man at a downtown Chico title company. Rushing was behaving bizarrely on the title company’s property when he was shot once by private security guard Edgar Sanchez, whom he attacked and cut with a small glass flower pot. 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

Desmond attorney: Judge erred Quick reversal to be sought in Chico police killing suit

photo courtesy of Phillips family

Desmond Phillips

by Dave Waddell

SACRAMENTO – When a conservative federal judge this week blocked claims for damages sought by Desmond Phillips’ family, Chico Police Chief Mike O’Brien quickly spun out a press release saying the judge had justified Phillips’ controversial police killing.

However, Ben Nisenbaum, an attorney for the family, told ChicoSol in a Wednesday phone interview that Judge John Mendez erred in his rulings in court Tuesday. Once Mendez’s words are sorted out, Nisenbaum believes Phillips’ survivors will get the jury trial they are seeking. read more

Girl, 11, says she was tackled by Chico cops Her exposed breasts fueled police vs. kids confrontation

photo by Dave Waddell
An 11-year-old girl says she was tackled by officers.

by Dave Waddell

An 11-year-old girl, whose guardian grandparents had asked police to conduct a “welfare check,” says she was tackled by two Chico police officers, leading to an ugly confrontation recently between cops and kids in Bidwell Park.

Teenagers who were at the scene say they were outraged because, as the officers kneed the prone 11-year-old to the dirt, her small top came up to her neck and her breasts were left exposed. In videos of the July 5 incident, the teens can be seen becoming animated over their insistence that her breasts be covered. read more

Charges filed against Chico man in connection with racist graffiti Bona to enter plea on Wednesday

by Leslie Layton

A Chico man who had been previously committed to a mental health facility was charged Friday with vandalism and violating civil rights, according to a press release from the Butte County District Attorney’s Office.

The press statement says Thomas David Bona, 33, was charged in Butte County Superior Court and will return to court to respond to charges at 8:30 a.m. June 19.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey’s statement says Bona was charged after committing “various acts of racist and non-racist graffiti throughout the City of Chico over the last two months.” read more

Chico police investigating graffiti suspect CPD says the graffiti assault was a hate crime

photo courtesy of Miguette Sansegundo

by Leslie Layton

Chico police are investigating a suspect in the June 2 graffiti assault that defaced 10 southwest sites in town with swastikas and racist language.

The man police say is a “potential suspect,” Thomas David Bona, 34, was arrested Wednesday in connection with a separate incident and was booked into Butte County Jail on suspicion of vehicle vandalism and a hate crime. A CPD press release says the man was “hitting at passing vehicles” early Wednesday near East Avenue and Tom Polk Way. Deputy Chief Matt Madden said Bona used a racial slur during an argument with an African-American motorist. read more