Desmond attorney: Judge erred Quick reversal to be sought in Chico police killing suit

photo courtesy of Phillips family

Desmond Phillips

by Dave Waddell

SACRAMENTO – When a conservative federal judge this week blocked claims for damages sought by Desmond Phillips’ family, Chico Police Chief Mike O’Brien quickly spun out a press release saying the judge had justified Phillips’ controversial police killing.

However, Ben Nisenbaum, an attorney for the family, told ChicoSol in a Wednesday phone interview that Judge John Mendez erred in his rulings in court Tuesday. Once Mendez’s words are sorted out, Nisenbaum believes Phillips’ survivors will get the jury trial they are seeking. 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

Failure to address mental health proves costly Cabral Reflects on Mental Illness

photo by Leslie LaytonReny and Torrie at Enloe Rehabilitation Center

photo by Leslie Layton

Reny and Torrie at Enloe Rehabilitation Center

by Leslie Layton

Five months after his arrest in connection with the choking of his girlfriend, an Orland man said that psychosis drove him to ram his head into the wall of a Glenn County Jail cell.

Reynaldo “Reny” Cabral, 23, described himself as disoriented and desperate when he rammed his head in his isolation cell Jan. 8, breaking his neck and becoming paralyzed from the chest down. He is now a quadriplegic, and both Glenn County and MediCal have been billed hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs. read more