Bona charged again with hate graffiti Chico conundrum: how to stop the vandalism

Thomas David Bona

by Leslie Layton
posted Nov. 15

Update: At a Nov. 16 hearing, a judge suspended criminal proceedings in this case and ordered a psychological examination of Thomas Bona that will be delivered Dec. 21. Bona had refused to come to court for the hearing.

Thomas David Bona, who has been in and out of the Butte County courtrooms and jail during the past 16 years, now faces felony charges with hate crime enhancements in connection with two recent graffiti incidents.

Bona is scheduled to be back in court Nov. 16 on charges related to the discovery of swastikas etched into the Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women mural at Cedar and Second streets and on the Congregation Beth Israel sign at the local synagogue. Both the mural and the temple sign had been partially burned. He’s also charged with throwing a rock through the window of a local restaurant. read more

Shootings at Teichert Ponds encampment alarm activists DA: Self defense "difficult thing" to overcome

photo by Natalie Hanson
A tent at the Teichert Ponds site.

by Natalie Hanson
posted Nov. 5

Shootings at Chico’s Teichert Ponds has some residents worried that unhoused people are facing increasing violence -– perhaps linked to rising levels of “dehumanizing” speech targeting them.

A shooting at the Ponds killed an unhoused man and left another seriously injured last year, and a shooting last month in the same preserve nearly killed another unhoused man. Both shootings involved people entering the Teichert Ponds encampment with the likely intent to “start a fight,” in District Attorney Mike Ramsey’s opinion. read more

Chico PD sued over ‘Gabe’ Sanchez slaying ChicoSol’s coverage raised doubts about his killer’s story

Gabriel Sanchez with his grandfather, Eddie, at the July memorial in Chico.

by Dave Waddell
posted Oct. 2

The father of Eddie Gabriel “Gabe” Sanchez, an armed robbery suspect shot to death by police officer Mark Bass in 2015, has sued Bass and the City of Chico on behalf of Sanchez’s teen-age son.

The wrongful death complaint was recently filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento by civil rights attorneys Stanley Goff of San Francisco and Fulvio Cajina of Oakland. In seeking unspecified damages, the complaint asserts violations of Sanchez’s son’s Fourth Amendment rights due to excessive police violence and of his 14th Amendment rights because of loss of the companionship of his father. read more

Law enforcement’s killing ‘playbook’ revealed ‘3 Seconds in October’ documentary recounts 13-year-old’s shooting

From the “3 Seconds in October” documentary available on PBS KVIE.

by Dave Waddell
posted Sept. 12

I’d like to plug an important, disturbing and highly instructive film that gets at some little-known truths about police killings and is now available for viewing online: “3 Seconds in October: The Shooting of Andy Lopez.”

“3 Seconds in October” was produced and directed by Ron Rogers and is enhanced by Peter Coyote’s incomparable narrative voice. The 28-minute documentary recently received a regional Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. read more

The tracks of our tears Attending 'Memorial for the Fallen' for victims of police killings

photo by Karen Laslo
At left, Gabriel Sanchez is now 17 and was only 10 when his father, Eddie Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Sanchez, was killed by Chico police. At right is Gabe Sanchez’s stepmother, Sheryl Sanchez.

by George Gold
guest commentary July 24

While this great Smokey Robinson song isn’t directly related to the event held yesterday honoring some of the precious lives lost at the hands of the Chico Police Department, there were tears in the room as we listened to the parents, uncles, brothers and sisters tell stories of people who should be alive today.

If we could just get our police to grow some humanity and some skills in how to de-escalate difficult interactions between police and our neighbors, we might see some progress. read more

Saturday event recalls people killed by police Memorial brings 7 families together on fifth anniversary of Tyler Rushing’s death

Paula Rushing with her late son Tyler

by Dave Waddell
posted July 21

The year was 1976 and Paula Staben from Santa Paula was a senior child development major at Chico State. She lived off campus at Gordon Hall, an “all-girls dormitory.” As that year’s activities director for Alpha Chi, Paula frequented the sorority’s distinctive yellow house at the corner of Fourth and Orient streets. There, she coordinated events such as theme dinners and movie nights.

Paula completed her bachelor’s degree, returned to Ventura County, and married Scott Rushing, a real estate broker and property manager. She became mom to Tyler and, a couple of years later, to Hillary. She directed a preschool. She launched a 17-year public school teaching career after her children went off to school. read more