Expert: Wounds contradict cop’s killing claim Chico PD discloses records on Mark Bass’ slaying of ‘Gabe’ Sanchez

screenshot from Chico PD’s 3D video showing where Gabe Sanchez was struck by police bullets.

by Dave Waddell
posted May 11

A top expert on police use of force says a newly disclosed investigative video seems to contradict key claims made by Chico police officer Mark Bass about his killing of Eddie Gabriel “Gabe” Sanchez in 2015.

The video, a three-dimensional depiction of Sanchez’s fatal wounds, was released by the Chico Police Department in response to a California Public Records Act (PRA) request submitted by this reporter in November 2020.

Sanchez, 34, grew up in Paradise. He was shot to death by Bass while fleeing along Pomona Avenue in west Chico. The killing garnered little media attention, let alone scrutiny, compared with the several Chico police shootings that have followed. read more

Sanchez’s killer accused of abusing wife Physical, verbal assaults claimed during separation

from Chico PD video
Mark Bass

by Dave Waddell
posted May 11

Seven years before killing Eddie Gabriel “Gabe” Sanchez, Chico cop Mark Bass was accused by his wife, Barbara Reed-Bass, of assaulting her physically and verbally during a turbulent separation prior to their divorce.

In a Butte County Superior Court declaration, Reed-Bass also reported allegations that Bass had shot his gun while drunk and in distress late on New Year’s Eve 2008, leading to an involuntary mental health hold.

The domestic violence claims made by Reed-Bass, detailed in Superior Court files, concerned several incidents in 2008. Sanchez, an armed robbery suspect, was shot to death by Bass while fleeing on Nov. 10, 2015. Bass was a Chico PD detective at the time and later promoted to sergeant. read more

Survey designed to build support for sales tax measure produces good response Trust will be a problem for the City of Chico

photo by Leslie Layton
Deadline for returning the “Essential City Services” survey is April 22.

by Leslie Layton
posted April 21

A mailer from the City of Chico with a survey to be returned by April 22 is a piece in a three-phase campaign to win support for a city-wide 1 percent sales tax. The survey asks city residents to rank their spending priorities in order of importance.

Chico is one of about eight “full-service” cities in the state that don’t have a local sales tax; it receives a small portion of state sales tax revenue only. Full-service cities provide public safety and other services. read more

Police don’t need military-grade weapons "Chico is not in a war zone"

photo courtesy of George Gold

by George Gold
guest commentary posted April 1

In 1987, there was a bank robbery in North Hollywood, California. I remember it because I used to live in North Hollywood. I remember it because the bank robbers were heavily armed, were dressed in body armor, and the police on the scene were, as they say, out gunned. As the shootout went on for some time, some of the cops on scene actually went to nearby gun stores to obtain some more powerful weapons.

This event has been used by police departments across the country to arm themselves with ever more powerful weapons. This bank robbery was tragic and horrible. But there has never been another event like that since 1987; certainly never in Chico. And yet police departments have continued to arm themselves, and then we, as law abiding people, are treated as if we are aligned with the bank robbers of North Hollywood. read more

Waddell honored with Freedom of Information Award SPJ NorCal comments on ChicoSol stories

photo courtesy of Jason Halley
Dave Waddell

by Leslie Layton
posted March 16

ChicoSol contributor Dave Waddell was honored today – on Freedom of Information Day – as a “transparency champion” for work that accessed public records related to three killings involving the Chico Police Department.

Waddell received the Freedom of Information Award in the small Print and Digital division for ChicoSol stories on the killings of Desmond Phillips, Tyler Rushing and Stephen Vest. The 37th annual James Madison Freedom of Information competition awards were presented today by the Society of Professional Journalists Northern California (SPJ) chapter. read more

City of Chico takes case to Supreme Court Justices asked to nix trial over Tyler Rushing's Tasing

by Dave Waddell

The City of Chico has escalated its increasingly expensive legal fight with the family of Tyler Rushing by petitioning the highest court in the land.

A Southern California law firm last week filed a motion on behalf of the City with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn an appellate court ruling that ordered part of the Rushing family’s wrongful death lawsuit against the City to proceed to trial.

Seth Stoughton, a top expert on police use of force and a professor of law at the University of South Carolina, said in an email reply to questions that the City’s so-called petition for writ of certiorari has a “snowball-in-hell chance” of being granted by the high court. read more