David Phillips just started a petition to Chico Police Department and California State Attorney General Xavier Becerra demanding that the:
Police Department immediately fire the officers involved in killing Desmond Phillips and that the California State Attorney General press charges against the officers who killed Desmond Phillips.
Here’s why this is important:
On March 17th, Chico Police Officers Alex Fliehr and Jeremy Gagnebin came into my home and killed my 25-year-old son Desmond Phillips right in front of me!
I had called 911 for medical assistance, something that I had to do relatively often since my son suffered mental health problems due to PTSD from being beaten by the Sacramento Police Department. This assault by Sacramento Police put him in the hospital ICU for four days. The Chico 911 dispatch, Chico Police, and Chico Behavioral Health Department were familiar with Desmond’s background and had successfully taken him in for mental health treatment twice before.
On March 17th, the first responders who arrived at my apartment removed Desmond’s headphones and sunglasses which is how he was coping with the crisis he was in. When he became agitated in response, they first responders called in the police. The police arrived at the scene with a non-lethal beanbag gun and shield, but those things were never used. When Desmond saw the police he panicked and locked the front door. The police broke down the door, tased him and within seconds Officers Gagnebin and Fliehr fired 16 shots total from their two semi-automatic handguns.
I was in the home the whole time and had to witness the murder of my son by the police. Desmond’s nephews who are 10 and 12 years old were also in the apartment. The neighbors heard what can be heard on the 911 tape as well, the taser was deployed and only a few second passed before the gunshots began. Every shot to my son was in his face and chest area. The police fired so many shots that a couple of the bullets passed through a wall into the neighboring apartment.
Both officers were rookies, one with two years and the other with one year on duty. It was negligent and reckless for Sergeant Lefkowitz to send two rookies into a mental health crisis. The 911 dispatcher, the first responders, and the police NEVER called in ANY mental health professionals. Chico Police Chief O’Brien and DA Ramsey claimed that the Officers involved had gone through Critical Incident Training. However, Sheriff Duch who teaches de-escalation training, resigned in protest citing that the Police and DA were lying about the training Officers Fliehr, Gagnebin, and others have had. Sheriff Duch said that the officers who killed my son had never attended one of his de-escalation trainings.
Butte County District Attorney Michael Ramsey has ruled that the murder was “justified” and will not be pressing criminal charges. During each public statement DA Ramsey gave during the investigation, his version of what happened has changed in multiple ways. The two Officers who killed Desmond got a paid vacation (administrative leave, during the investigation) and are now back on duty. The present a huge threat to anyone that lives in Chico.
Join my family and our community in demanding that the Chico Police Department fire these officers! We also ask that the California State Attorney General launch an independent investigation and press criminal charges against Officers Alex Fliehr, Jeremy Gagnebin, and Sergeant Todd Lefkowitz.
How many Black people must be killed by law enforcement before we see justice for their families, serious consequences for the killers, and changes in policy and procedure?