Cops cleared

Two officers who shot Desmond Phillips back on duty

The two Chico police officers who shot and killed Desmond Phillips last month were justified in doing so, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey announced last Thursday (April 13).

Ramsey (pictured) presented evidence gathered by the Butte County Officer Involved Shooting/Critical Incident Protocol Team at a press conference at the Chico Police Department, and said that no criminal liability was found on the part of Officers Jeremy Gagnebin and Alex Fliehr. CPD Chief Mike O’Brien was on hand to announce the officers had returned to duty.

Phillips was a 25-year-old black man who was suffering from a mental health episode when his father, David, called for medical help March 17. The situation escalated and Phillips armed himself with two kitchen knives. Ramsey said Phillips rose from the ground and charged the officers with either knives or a piece of the door jamb that was broken by police when they kicked in the door to the Chico apartment where the incident took place. The officers shot 16 times at Phillips, with 10 shots hitting him.

The Phillips family disputes that account and is calling for an independent investigation.

Protests over the shooting continue, including one held Monday (April 17) outside of a town hall held by Rep. Doug LaMalfa in Oroville.