Cops Cleared of Wrongdoing After Shooting Mentally Ill Man 10 Times
“Did you hit him with a Taser?” David Phillips said on a 911 call during the shooting. He added: “Man, I told you he was mental. Did you kill my son?”
Desmond’s father has said he was seeking help or medicine for his son and that the force used by police was not necessary.
Police officers in Chico, California, were justified in using deadly force to subdue a man they claim was a grave danger to officers and family, the district attorney says.
The man’s family, however, calls it a race-influenced murder.
Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey has determined that Chico Police Department officers Jeremy Gagnebin and Alex Fliehr have “no criminal liability” for the March 17 fatal shooting of Phillips, 25, who was in the throes of a mental health “episode,” according to his family.
The officers have returned to “full duty,” according to Chico Police Chief Mike O’Brien.
Phillips, a black man, was shot 10 times amid 16 bullets fired at close range after the officers, both white men, forced their way into the apartment of Desmond’s father, David, believing Desmond posed a threat to family members and to the officers themselves, according to Ramsey.
The officers claimed in a police report that when they broke through the front door, Phillips “rapidly and aggressively advanced on (the officers) swinging his arms in a windmill fashion as he ran toward them.”
A Taser was deployed, but Phillips “quickly” got up and “advanced” on them with a kitchen knife in one hand and, in the other hand, a splintered wooden doorjamb that had broken off the door when the officers broke through.
Officers then opened fire, approximately eight seconds after shooting the Taser.