Micalizio ‘would never do anything against police’ Reports: Woman shot dead by Butte deputy had tried to help CHP officer

Hali McKelvie with her mother, Myra Micalizio, in 2014. Photo courtesy of family.

by Dave Waddell

Not long after Myra Micalizio was shot five times in the back and killed last year by a Butte County sheriff’s deputy, District Attorney Mike Ramsey declared before television cameras that Micalizio had tried to attack deputies with her vehicle.

Micalizio’s family never bought that scenario, but Ramsey reaffirmed it many months later when issuing a report clearing deputies Charles Lair and Mary Barker of any criminal wrongdoing in the killing. Micalizio’s three children – Lisa Rutledge, Sean McKelvie and Hali McKelvie – recently settled a wrongful death suit against Butte County for $250,000, said County Counsel Bruce Alpert. read more

Family sues deputies over shooting death Unarmed Palermo woman in mental crisis reversed car

Myra Micalizio, about seven years ago with her nephew Justin Widener, who is a police officer in Aurora, Colo.

by Dave Waddell

Above all else, her family says, Myra Micalizio of Palermo was a gentle woman who loved the Lord. And she got along really well with her imaginary friends as well.

Micalizio, 56, who lived with mental health issues, was shot dead April 26 in a hail of bullets from two Butte County sheriff’s deputies. On July 20, her family filed a federal civil rights complaint seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages from Butte County, sheriff’s deputies Charles Lair and Mary Barker, and Sheriff Kory Honea. read more

Noted journalist speaks on mental illness Pete Earley chronicles son’s ordeal, offers tips

By Dave Waddell

Desperate to get help for his mentally ill son, journalist Pete Earley told Chicoans Saturday he did things he never thought he’d do.

Earley said he lied about what his son had said, violated his own professional ethics by threatening to summon feared investigative reporter Mike Wallace of “60 Minutes” TV fame, and “literally went out and grabbed a doctor” from a crowded emergency room hallway to evaluate his delusional son. read more

No sergeant at scene of Phillips killing Young cops entered home after 'no de-escalation' measures

photo by Dave Waddell
photo of Desmond Phillips

 

by Dave Waddell

The Chico police sergeant who gave the green light to sending two relatively inexperienced cops after mentally ill Desmond Phillips with their guns drawn was nowhere near the Phillips residence at the time.

According to computer-assisted dispatch reports obtained by David Phillips, Desmond’s father, and made available to ChicoSol, Sgt. Todd Lefkowitz did not get to the scene until 14 minutes after he was first dispatched and eight minutes after Desmond, a 25-year-old black man, was gunned down by police. Lefkowitz arrived at 7:41 p.m. on March 17, or at approximately the same time the mortally wounded Desmond was carted out of his home and taken to Enloe Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead with a grievous heart wound. read more

De-escalation makes a difference, Summers says Retired officer advocates 'Memphis Model'



Retired police officer Mike Summers of West Sacramento addressed a crowd of about a hundred people Thursday evening at a community workshop on Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training at Chico’s First Christian Church. Summers is an advocate of the so-called Memphis Model of de-escalation, which he said resulted in a dramatic decrease in officer-involved shootings in the Tennessee city beginning in the late ‘80s.

Summers said law enforcement officers are typically trained at police academies to exhibit a “command presence,” which doesn’t always work well in dealing with the mentally ill. Thursday’s event was hosted by Crisis Care Advocacy and Triage in the wake of the killing of Desmond Phillips, a mentally ill young black man who was shot 11 times by Chico police on March 17. ChicoSol will publish a follow-up story on the Phillips shooting on June 17. -- photo and story by Dave Waddell.

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