Third anniversary of Rushing killing observed Family files quick appeal after lawsuit tossed in federal court

photo by Dave Waddell

by Dave Waddell

Scott Rushing, wearing his only son’s blue polo work shirt, had a question Thursday evening for two dozen people attending a sidewalk vigil on the third anniversary of Tyler Rushing’s death.

How many people have Chico police killed since Tyler died on a bloody bathroom floor inside a title company on July 23, 2017? The answer, as many in the group knew, is zero.

“Is that a coincidence? I don’t think so. … I believe we’ve saved lives,” Rushing said of the activism that followed the killings of his son and Desmond Phillips, a young Black man in mental crisis who was gunned down by Chico police on March 17, 2017. read more

Picking Chico’s police chief slowed by Covid-19 Reformist citizens group says it represents broad spectrum

photo by Karen Laslo
Emily Alma, coordinator of a police reform group that was wrongly accused of political disruption and now has support from a host of mainstream groups.

by Dave Waddell

Two years ago, the Chico Enterprise-Record’s conservative editorial writers – without a shred of cited evidence – suggested in an editorial that members of the police reform group Concerned Citizens for Justice (CC4J) were involved in political disruption and vandalism.

Leaders of CC4J fired back in letters that questioned the responsibility of the E-R’s brand of journalism.

The E-R’s portrayal of CC4J as an extremist group was as short-lived as it was baseless. In fact, today CC4J’s push for Chico to pick a reformer as police chief to succeed Mike O’Brien is attracting support from numerous organizations lodged securely in Chico’s mainstream. read more

What do Chico councilors seek in new top cop? Q&A on priorities, Floyd killing fallout, community policing

photo by Leslie Layton

Mayor Ann Schwab

by Dave Waddell

In Chico’s way of government, the city manager selects the chief of police. Since the city manager, Mark Orme, takes his marching orders from the City Council, ChicoSol thought community members would like to hear from council members about their priorities for the selection of Mike O’Brien’s successor.

O’Brien retired last week after five years as chief. His deputy, Matt Madden, is serving as interim chief. read more

Police use of deadly force? Here’s one solution. Writer to cops: 'Break the blue wall of silence'

photo by Mark Comfort courtesy of Wikipedia
In May 1967, Black Panther members protesting police brutality and a new law marched on the State Capitol.

by George Gold
guest commentary

From The Sacramento Bee’s front page in 1967: “Two dozen armed Negroes entered the state Capitol at noon today and made their way to the back of the Assembly Chamber before they were disarmed and marched away by the state police.”

This happened in the midst of the ‘power to the people’ campaign organized to shine a light on police brutality in the Black community. After more than 50 years, has anything changed? read more

City re-examines police advisory board Some want more transparency from Chico PD

photo by Leslie Layton
Chico Police Chief Michael O’Brien is retiring in June.

by Leslie Layton and Dave Waddell

Item 5.5 on tonight’s City Council agenda could easily be overlooked given other hot-button topics competing for attention. But it could be instrumental in shaping police-community relations.

Mayor Randall Stone has agendized a discussion on the Police Community Advisory Board (PCAB), a nine-member panel, in a bid to press for more transparency from Chico Police Department. [Editor’s note: Stone tabled the discussion at the Feb. 18 meeting until a replacement for the retiring chief is appointed.] read more

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