DA: No crime by shooters in Rushing death Peaceful Ventura man behaved bizarrely in Chico

Tyler Rushing

by Dave Waddell and Leslie Layton

Tyler Rushing, who died during a chaotic confrontation in close quarters with Chico police, most likely succumbed to an earlier “devastating gunshot” wound from a private security guard responding to a burglary.

That’s the conclusion of Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey in a 17-page report made available to ChicoSol and other news media prior to a press briefing by Ramsey this morning.

Ramsey also wrote that a medical examiner was taken aback after multiple toxicology reports turned up a “moderate” amount of marijuana in Rushing’s system but no other drugs. 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

Autopsy: Phillips shot 11 times, not 10 Mortal heart wound from sharply downward shot

Phillips family photo Desmond Phillips

Phillips family photo

Desmond Phillips

by Dave Waddell

Desmond Phillips, a mentally ill young black man killed by Chico police on March 17, was hit by 11 bullets — not shot 10 times, as Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey has claimed — according to a forensic autopsy report reviewed by ChicoSol.

One of those 11 rounds hit Phillips in the nose and then re-entered his body through his chest, creating a total of 12 gunshot entry wounds, says the autopsy report. That same bullet, which the report says traveled in a downward direction at a “sharp angle,” tore through Phillips’ heart, causing his most grievous wound. read more

Community celebrates Desmond Phillips’ life 'Justice for Desmond Phillips' group plans Capitol rally

photo by Dave Waddell

photo by Dave Waddell

by Dave Waddell

Hundreds of area residents turned out Sunday evening to celebrate the life of Desmond Phillips, a mentally ill black man gunned down March 17 by Chico police.

Money from the barbecue/entertainment fundraiser at 20th Street Park will be used by the Phillips family to seek justice for Phillips, organizers said.

Next up for the group will be a June 9 rally beginning at 3 p.m. at the state Capitol in Sacramento, where demonstrators will march to the California Attorney General’s Office seeking a state probe of the killing.

“It went just wonderful,” said David Phillips, Desmond’s father, of Sunday’s fundraiser. “So many people there, and so much love. People from different walks of life enjoying each other. And that’s Desmond right there.” read more

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

Diane E. Schmidt
Diane E. Schmidt

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.

In a letter dated May 15 to Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey, Professor Diane E. Schmidt called Phillips’ shooting both a failure of training by Chico PD and of oversight by officials such as Ramsey. The district attorney did not immediately return a call from ChicoSol seeking response to Schmidt’s letter. read more

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. read more