Chico police deploy body cameras in wake of Phillips shooting Advisory board to launch discussion about treatment of mentally ill

photo by Dave WaddellDavid Phillips, right, father of Desmond Phillips, talks to Police Chief Mike O'Brien and DA Mike Ramsey at today's meeting.

photo by Dave Waddell

David Phillips, right, father of Desmond Phillips, talks to Police Chief Mike O’Brien and DA Mike Ramsey at today’s meeting.

by Dave Waddell

The Chico Police Department – criticized for not having body cameras on its officers in the recent killing of a mentally disturbed young black man – deployed those cameras on Saturday, Chief of Police Mike O’Brien said today.

O’Brien made the surprise announcement at the somewhat raucous April 3 meeting of the Human Relations Network of Butte County (HRN), at which he and Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey revealed more details and answered questions about the Chico police shooting of 25-year-old Desmond Phillips on March 17. Two officers fired 16 rounds, with 10 bullets hitting Phillips, Ramsey said. read more

Investigators Hunt Cell Phone Missing from Police Evidence CSUC Students Claim Retaliation for Filming, Excessive Force

Madeline Hemphill

photo by Bianca Quilantan

Madeline Hemphill demonstrates the grip that the students say officer Dyke used on Nicole Braham.

by Dave Waddell and Bianca Quilantan

What happened to Madeline Hemphill’s cell phone and the video she says would prove excessive force by Chico police?

It’s a question central to law enforcement investigations of the Aug. 27 arrests of Hemphill and her roommate and fellow Chico State student Nicole Braham.
A second cell phone video from the arrest scene — shot by Telvina Patino, a third roommate and Chico State student – has been viewed tens of thousands of times on YouTube and can be seen here.

Chico community activist Emily Alma has labeled the arrests an “excessive force event.” Also critical of police handling of the incident has been Michael Coyle, an associate professor of political science at Chico State. Coyle, who teaches criminal justice courses, said that if good policing means de-escalating situations, what’s shown in the video are poor police practices. “The video looks more like a basic training on how to escalate a situation, physically put someone in pain, and make them afraid of police,” said Coyle, who chairs the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) board in Chico. “Whatever happened to community policing?” read more