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CA Attorney General Says Butte County District Attorney Actions in Desmond Phillips Case Justified

The California Attorney General's Office announced on Sept. 19 that the Butte County District Attorney's office acted properly in declining to file criminal charges against Chico police officers involved in the shooting of Desmond Phillips on March 17, 2017.

Posted: Sep. 20, 2018 11:45 AM
Updated: Sep. 20, 2018 11:52 AM

CHICO, Calif. - The California Attorney General's Office announced on Sept. 19 that the Butte County District Attorney's office acted properly in declining to file criminal charges against Chico police officers involved in the shooting of Desmond Phillips on March 17, 2017. 

In a letter to District Attorney Mike Ramsey, due to this decision, California Attorney General Xavier Beccaria said that no further action will be taken by at this time.

This investigation is in response to a 2017 incident in which Chico Police officers fatally shot 25-year-old Desmond Phillips, a black man who also lived with mental illness. The officers were responding to a 911 call placed by Phillips' father at their Chico home. 

Phillips' family filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming that he was wrongfully killed and was suffering from an episode of mental illness. 

His death also sparked justice campaigns and protests for Phillips and others killed by law enforcement. 

The Attorney General's Office asked the Butte County District Attorney's Office to forward all evidence and reports gathered about the officer-involved shooting for an independent review in July of 2017, Ramsey said. 

The California Attorney General's Office concluded that the District Attorney's Office did not abuse its discretion in declining to file criminal charges against the police officers. 

"We again sympathize with the Phillips' family for the tragic loss of their son," Ramsey said. "However, while they are entitled to their grief, they and others are not entitled to a different set of facts - facts which were reviewed and confirmed by the AG's independent review." 

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