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.

Haynie’s reference was to the killing of Phillips, who was black, mentally ill and 25 years old. Phillips was shot 10 times by officers Alex Fliehr and Jeremy Gagnebin on March 17 in his father’s living room.

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Professor finds a home in nature Former KZFR host keeps it simple in classroom

photo by Karen LasloRandy Larson

photo by Karen Laslo

Randy Larsen

By Hannah Panten

In an “Environmental Ethics” class of 10 students who would rather be sleeping, it’s a few minutes before 8 a.m. when Randy Larsen enters, exclaiming “good morning scholars!” with a wide grin and scruffy beard.  Pulling up a chair to the family-dinner-style seating arrangement, Larsen begins class with his usual pep (and his red, ceramic coffee mug, of course).

When interrupted by a student trailing into class late, he greets the tardy student with a genuine, “thanks for coming,” then proceeds teaching.  Sporting a plain T-shirt, patched denim, and a neon-green knit hat, his appearance sums up his personality and teaching style quite well — unconventional and refreshingly simple.

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New tool helps track hate incidents ChicoSol helps document rise in hate crime and bias incidents

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New America Media editorial

Editor’s note: ChicoSol is participating in a national project to document hate incidents around the country. The following editorial, courtesy of our partner New America Media, explains the project and provides a reporting form.

Since the 2016 election there has been an alarming increase in reports of hate incidents around the country. Reports range from vandalism and hate-fueled graffiti to physical attacks and shootings.

The reports come amid heightened fear and anxiety within immigrant and minority communities, fueled by the rhetoric of the campaign, and by statements and policies from the current administration.

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March for Science in Chico attracts crowd Science supporters celebrate Earth Day with rally and march

photos by Karen Laslo

photos by Karen Laslo

About a thousand people gathered at Trinity Commons on the CSUC campus Saturday to listen to speeches about the importance of scientific study and how science can help save the planet from environmental degradation. A march through Chico followed, in solidarity with a large event in Washington, D.C., and marches around the world to stand up for the value of scientific study. Who knew that in 2017, science would be considered subversive in some circles and Americans would feel compelled to stand up for an academic discipline.

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

photo by Karen LasloDelphine Norman, mother of Desmond Phillips, protests outside the April 17 town hall meeting held by Rep. Doug LaMalfa.

photo by Karen Laslo

Delphine Norman, mother of Desmond Phillips, protests outside the April 17 town hall meeting held by Rep. Doug LaMalfa.

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.

Behind the blind were Desmond Phillips’ two nephews, ages 12 and 18, together in one of the small home’s two locked bedrooms, on the phone with their mother. Dave Phillips, who had grown increasingly frantic about Desmond’s behavior, had locked himself in the other bedroom and was talking with a police dispatcher.

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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.)

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