Timeline backs student’s retaliation claim DA’s probe tracked missing phone all over Chico

Madeline Hemphill

photo by Bianca Quilantan

Madeline Hemphill points to the bush along the Esplanade where she says she was “tackled” by a Chico police officer.

by Dave Waddell

While ruling out officer involvement in a missing cell phone mystery, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey also has disclosed details to ChicoSol that bolster a student’s claim of retaliation by Chico police.

Chico State senior Madeline Hemphill has maintained that five minutes or less elapsed between an initial confrontation with officer Steve Dyke and her arrest in front of her nearby residence. Chico Police Chief Mike O’Brien, in contrast, issued a press statement two days after the Aug. 27, 2016, incident indicating a gap of 28 minutes between the two encounters. read more

Student now fears cops, has no phone Officer Dyke ‘traumatized’ driver with gun in 2011

photo courtesy of Madeline Hemphill

photo courtesy of Madeline Hemphill

by Dave Waddell

If Chico police officer Steve Dyke’s intent last summer was to get Madeline Hemphill to quit filming police with her cell phone, that mission definitely was accomplished.

One reason is practical: Hemphill no longer has her cell phone. Police claim it was lost when they arrested her in the early hours of Aug. 27, 2016, and accused her of resisting arrest. No charges, however, were ever brought against Hemphill by Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.

In a ChicoSol exclusive, Ramsey said Friday that his 10-month investigation into what became of the phone determined that police never had it. Most likely, Ramsey said, the phone was carried around town by a “transient.” The DA promised more details this week. read more

DA: Chico cops never had cell phone ‘Tackled’ student claimed retaliation for filming

photo by Karen LasloButte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey

photo by Karen Laslo

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey

by Dave Waddell

Chico police never had the cell phone of a Chico State student who says the phone contained video showing excessive police force, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey told ChicoSol late Friday.

In a telephone voice message left for ChicoSol, Ramsey said he suspects a “transient” had the phone in the days after it left student Madeline Hemphill’s possession as she was arrested last August. Hemphill was filming officer Steve Dyke as he arrested her roommate when she was suddenly ordered to jail by Dyke, “tackled” to the ground by other officers, and accused of resisting arrest. read more

Autopsy: Phillips shot 11 times, not 10 Mortal heart wound from sharply downward shot

Phillips family photo Desmond Phillips

Phillips family photo

Desmond Phillips

by Dave Waddell

Desmond Phillips, a mentally ill young black man killed by Chico police on March 17, was hit by 11 bullets — not shot 10 times, as Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey has claimed — according to a forensic autopsy report reviewed by ChicoSol.

One of those 11 rounds hit Phillips in the nose and then re-entered his body through his chest, creating a total of 12 gunshot entry wounds, says the autopsy report. That same bullet, which the report says traveled in a downward direction at a “sharp angle,” tore through Phillips’ heart, causing his most grievous wound. read more

De-escalation makes a difference, Summers says Retired officer advocates 'Memphis Model'



Retired police officer Mike Summers of West Sacramento addressed a crowd of about a hundred people Thursday evening at a community workshop on Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training at Chico’s First Christian Church. Summers is an advocate of the so-called Memphis Model of de-escalation, which he said resulted in a dramatic decrease in officer-involved shootings in the Tennessee city beginning in the late ‘80s.

Summers said law enforcement officers are typically trained at police academies to exhibit a “command presence,” which doesn’t always work well in dealing with the mentally ill. Thursday’s event was hosted by Crisis Care Advocacy and Triage in the wake of the killing of Desmond Phillips, a mentally ill young black man who was shot 11 times by Chico police on March 17. ChicoSol will publish a follow-up story on the Phillips shooting on June 17. -- photo and story by Dave Waddell.

Community celebrates Desmond Phillips’ life 'Justice for Desmond Phillips' group plans Capitol rally

photo by Dave Waddell

photo by Dave Waddell

by Dave Waddell

Hundreds of area residents turned out Sunday evening to celebrate the life of Desmond Phillips, a mentally ill black man gunned down March 17 by Chico police.

Money from the barbecue/entertainment fundraiser at 20th Street Park will be used by the Phillips family to seek justice for Phillips, organizers said.

Next up for the group will be a June 9 rally beginning at 3 p.m. at the state Capitol in Sacramento, where demonstrators will march to the California Attorney General’s Office seeking a state probe of the killing.

“It went just wonderful,” said David Phillips, Desmond’s father, of Sunday’s fundraiser. “So many people there, and so much love. People from different walks of life enjoying each other. And that’s Desmond right there.” read more