Ex-sergeant missed ‘no work’ after Rushing shooting Former Chico police Sgt. Ruppel acquitted of assault in later choking incident

Chico PD press release

by Dave Waddell

Court testimony last week by former Chico police Sgt. Scott Ruppel uncovered a secret that city officials have tried their darnedest to keep the public from knowing: Ruppel took no time off from work after shooting Tyler Rushing twice at point-blank range in July 2017.

Rushing’s father, Scott Rushing of Ventura, called the revelation “monstrous, sickening, disturbing.”

“How can a mentally healthy human being kill another in a violent shooting one day, and the next day work your shift like the events of the prior evening were just another day at the office?” Scott Rushing said. read more

Fewer officers overall attend Butte crisis training ‘Memphis Model’ in county has been ‘opportunity lost’

photo by Dave Waddell

Sal Ventura

by Dave Waddell

During a period in which five people were killed by law enforcement in Butte County, overall attendance at the county’s annual week-long training program in crisis intervention has been in steep decline.

However, the Chico Police Department – roundly criticized for past absences at crisis intervention trainings – has stepped up participation since the killing of Desmond Phillips, a young black man in mental crisis.

Chico PD sent six officers Oct. 8-12 to the ninth annual Butte County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training, which was sponsored by Butte College and is patterned after the so-called Memphis Model approach to the treatment by police of individuals in mental crisis. read more

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