Scaled-back plans to arm park rangers Speakers differ on whether guns aid park safety

by Dave Waddell

A proposal to turn Bidwell Park’s three rangers into Chico police officers was scaled back Tuesday to arming just two of them as cops and having the third ranger work to bolster park volunteerism.

The so-called “hybrid” plan, outlined by Chris Constantin, assistant city manager, drew mixed reactions from members of the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission, as well as mostly skepticism from citizens who spoke at a public hearing. read more

Professor blasts Chico cops in fatal shooting Police should act as 'peacekeepers,' not 'gunslingers'

by Dave Waddell

In an unusually pointed letter, a veteran professor in Chico State’s criminal justice program has blasted the killing of Desmond Phillips by Chico police as showing “extraordinarily poor training, flawed judgment, and gross ineptitude.”

Phillips, a 25-year-old mentally ill black man, was shot 10 times by two officers in his father’s living room just 21 minutes after medical aid was first called to help him March 17. read more

Police-the-park plan is a “fork in the road” Public safety, park rangers and disposable people

by Steve Breedlove

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face forever” – George Orwell.

At this moment, Chico’s unelected city bureaucrats are in the process of moving Park Rangers into the Police Department, arming them and sidelining their function as naturalists and stewards of our recreational commons. Apparently, “broken windows” enforcement of minor infractions is the preferred method of addressing very real and material social problems. read more

Group may ask for CPD citizen oversight board David Phillips pushes for independent probe of police killing

photo by Karen LasloDave Phillips at a recent meeting of Chico City Council

photo by Karen Laslo

Dave Phillips at a recent meeting of Chico City Council

by Dave Waddell

In the wake of the killing of Desmond Phillips, community activists expressed support Monday for establishing a citizen board to review the Chico Police Department’s internal investigations.

Pastor Vince Haynie said proponents of citizen oversight are researching the practice in other cities and gathering support from various community groups.

“In light of recent events, we really need that,” Haynie said at the May 1 meeting of the Human Relations Network of Butte County. read more

Swift siege leads to fatal shooting, family’s ire Home had calmed at time cops entered

by Dave Waddell

The night of Desmond Phillips’ March 17 killing, a Chico police officer shined a flashlight at a window a few paces to the left of the front door of his father’s apartment.

Before that door was forced open, before the knife-holding Desmond was first shot with a Taser and then riddled with police bullets, and before Dave Phillips, shocked and wailing, crawled down the hallway to his dying son’s side, the officer saw an eye peeking through the closed blind. read more

Sheriff’s captain blasts Chico police crisis training Duch quits training role after 'deceptive' claims

Captain Andy Duch

photo courtesy of Andy Duch

Duch instructing a “Tac Com” class

by Dave Waddell

A Butte County sheriff’s captain is so bothered by the Chico Police Department’s “overstated and deceptive … propaganda” following the shooting death of Desmond Phillips that he has quit the crisis intervention training academy he led for seven years.

Phillips, a 25-year-old mentally disturbed black man, was gunned down March 17 in his father’s West Fourth Avenue living room, just 21 minutes after medical aid was first called to help him. Together, Chico officers Alex Fliehr and Jeremy Gagnebin fired 16 rounds. A report on the shooting is expected next week from an investigative team headed by Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey. (See our story index in the column at right and click to read backstories.) read more