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

City of Chico settles journalist’s lawsuit Violations of public records act cost taxpayers tens of thousands

A Butte County judge has signed an order based on a settlement agreement in the lawsuit filed by journalist Dave Waddell against the City of Chico.

by Leslie Layton
posted July 14

The City of Chico has settled a lawsuit filed by a local journalist over violations of the California Public Records Act, providing the documents requested and agreeing to pay the costs of the journalist’s attorney.

The taxpayers’ price tag for the City’s non-compliance is $43,637 – which is the cost of the San Francisco attorney hired by ChicoSol contributor Dave Waddell. The City has also provided all requested records – in some cases 19 months after the requests were first made. read more

Stakes high in costly Butte supervisor race Campaign contributions reflect statewide law enforcement effort, water worries

The Butte Forward Opposing Debra Lucero political action committee emerged two months ago.

by Leslie Layton & Natalie Hanson
posted May 29, 2022

At a time when Butte County faces pressing problems -– from homelessness to drought -– a record amount of money is pouring into the race for the District 2 seat on the Board of Supervisors.

In the final weeks leading up to the June 7 primary election, last-minute contributions flowed into the race and a new political action committee (PAC) emerged, Butte Forward, that formed at the end of March to oust incumbent Debra Lucero.

Lucero faces two challengers, Chico police Sgt. Peter Durfee and environmental health and safety manager Carl Jeffries, as well as opposition from Butte Forward that had collected $40,840 by the end of the May reporting period. Contributions to the PAC, which calls itself “Butte Forward PAC, Opposing Debra Lucero for Supervisor 2022” on its Facebook page, came from many of the same families that founded or supported formation of the Tuscan Water District. read more

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