Justice for Desmond group marks second anniversary of killing Families again gather to demand reform

Community members gathered Sunday to mark the second anniversary of the killing of 25-year-old Desmond Phillips, shot multiple times by Chico police officers in his father’s living room. Other parents frustrated with Butte County’s criminal justice system again joined the Phillips family for a march, potluck dinner and a program that included speakers and performances.

photo by Karen Laslo
David Phillips, father of Desmond Phillips.

Scott Rushing, father of Tyler Rushing who was killed in a shooting that involved Chico police and an armed security guard in July 2017, traveled from Ventura to attend the Sunday gathering.

Rain Scher from the Justice for Desmond Phillips team said in an email, “We believe that the community at large should be reminded of who Desmond is and what happened to him and all the things that we fight for in his name: accountability for the officers who killed him and the chief of police, better mental health care access in Butte County, better training for police officers including anti-bias training.”

photo by Karen Laslo
Scott Rushing, father of the late Tyler Rushing, speaks at Sunday’s Justice for Desmond gathering at Trinity United Methodist Church.

Also present Sunday were the parents of Marc Thompson, a 25-year-old Chico State student who was brutally killed in 2014 in a case that has yet to be solved by the Butte County Sheriff’s Department. Marc Thompson’s body was found in his burned-out car in a remote area about 28 miles northeast of Oroville. Marc Thompson and Desmond Phillips were cousins.

photo by Karen Laslo
Lawrence Thompson and LaWanda Thompson-Taylor.

Lawrence Thompson says the Butte County Sheriff’s Department “bungled” the investigation into his son’s death. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told ChicoSol in 2017 that sheriff’s detectives, in hopes of generating new leads in the case, were employing new technology to mine data from Marc Thompson’s cell phone records.

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