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.

“We’re not laying this down. … Things are being done,” the Rev. Stephen Shy of Chico’s Ministry of Hope said in the aftermath of the March 17 shooting of Phillips at his father’s apartment in the 700 block of West Fourth Avenue. The two officers involved in the shooting, who are on paid administrative leave, have not yet been named by the department.

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