Fatal shooting by Chico police sparks protests Community calls for probe by outside agency

photo by Karen Laslo
 

photo by Karen Laslo

Bethel AME Church service 

by Dave Waddell

An estimated 200 people turned out Sunday evening to protest the fatal shooting by Chico police of a mentally ill black man who officers say threatened them with a knife.

The demonstration began with a remembrance for Desmond Phillips, 25, at the Bethel AME Church on Ninth Street. It then moved to the front of the Chico Police Department, where an emotional candlelight vigil was held. Speakers expressed outrage at the killing “of this dear brother of ours,” as one put it, and called for a federal investigation into the shooting. read more

Immigration info fair a resounding success Community organizations collaborate in Orland event

photo by Leslie LaytonLegal Services of Northern California assisted with citizenship applications.

photo by Leslie Layton

Legal Services of Northern California assisted with citizenship applications.

by Leslie Layton

An immigration fair held Saturday in Orland, sponsored by nonprofit organizations including ChicoSol, served about 100 area residents by providing attorneys for consultations, seminars on Constitutional protections and access to community groups.

The Immigration Information Fair was held at Orland High School in order to provide information and resources to community members who may have become concerned about how the Trump administration’s policies will affect them. About 50 people who had made appointments in advance were able to consult with attorneys or law students at no cost. In meeting rooms, they filled out citizenship applications, discussed citizenship eligibility and learned from immigration attorneys about possible eligibility for residency and work programs. read more

Non-sanctuary resolution dies at county meeting Supervisors vote only to oppose state legislation

photo by Karen LasloDistrict 2 Supervisor Larry Wahl

photo by Karen Laslo

District 2 Supervisor Larry Wahl

by Leslie Layton

Supervisor Larry Wahl retreated Tuesday from an effort to officially declare that Butte County is not a so-called “sanctuary jurisdiction” – a designation adopted by some counties in response to federal immigration policies.

Wahl declined to move for passage of a draft resolution that he had requested, after the board heard a detailed 60-minute presentation by Sheriff Kory Honea and testimony from a dozen members of the public. Most speakers viewed the resolution as unnecessary and warned that it would be perceived as a hostile gesture. read more

Know Your (Seven) Facts Undocumented immigrant population stable

photo by Leslie Layton

Participant in Jan. 21 Chico Women’s March

Regardless of how you feel about illegal immigration, facts will be useful when you discuss this polarizing national issue. Here is ChicoSol’s March 2017 facts roundup, focusing in particular on the Latino demographic. The most interesting fact may be the last on our list:

1. Latinos comprise 15 percent of Butte County’s total population, according to the U.S. Census 2011-2015;
2. Latinos comprise about 39 percent of California’s population;
3. Nationwide, Latinos make up more than half of the K-12 total student population;
4. Nationwide, 64 percent of all Latinos are U.S. born;
5. The number of undocumented immigrants in this country has been estimated at about 11 million, a figure that has remained stable since 2009. About 66 percent of the undocumented population had been here for at least a decade in a 2014 study.
6. In 2014, Mexicans made up about 52 percent of the undocumented population, but that figure has been declining.“The origin countries of unauthorized immigrants have shifted, with the number from Mexico declining since 2009 and the number from elsewhere rising,” says Pew Research.
7. Forbes magazine has just reported that an astonishing 83 percent of the finalists of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search were the children of immigrants. –– Kate Sheehy and Leslie Layton read more

Lessons from James Baldwin On International Women's Day, his influence on my mother

James Baldwin portrait by Gus Bouquet
James Baldwin portrait by Gus Bouquet

by Leslie Layton

My closest sense of connection to the writer James Baldwin comes not through the wonderful film showing through March 9 at the Pageant Theatre about him, and not even through iconic books like “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” which I read during my formative first year in college.

It comes through a painting of him, a less-than-literal interpretation of the mood and character that I might have glimpsed had I known James Baldwin as a boy. I keep that painting – which happens to be my most treasured keepsake from my late mother – hanging on a wall near whatever desk I use when I work – that is, when I really work — at writing. read more

Police-community relations on the mend after low point Critics say more change needed at CPD; cell phone case looms

photo by Karen LasloMike O'Brien assumed the chief's post almost two years ago when Dunbaugh left.

photo by Karen Laslo

Mike O’Brien assumed the chief’s post almost two years ago when Dunbaugh left.

by Dave Waddell

Two years ago, Mike Dunbaugh came out of retirement to set the Chico Police Department on a path to reform. His five-month stint as interim police chief ended with a June 4, 2015, final report. In that confidential memorandum sent to the City Council and other officials, Dunbaugh described Chico PD as having abnormally poor relations with the community it served, as well as being unwelcoming to women. 

“The failure of the Police Department to maintain healthy community connections is extreme,” Dunbaugh wrote.  “In over 40 years of being associated with the law enforcement industry in California, I have not seen a department from a city this size dig a hole this deep for itself. City leadership played a role in this happening; and, it is going to take significant effort and time for the police department to reconnect and correct.” read more