Letters to the editor: March 11, 2021

Swept away

Re “High Noon at the Triangle”:

Observations on the City of Chico sweeps:

1. They’re not an effective use of taxpayer funds. Sweeps are more expensive than campgrounds. Sweeps cost tens of thousands of dollars; campgrounds are typically profitable businesses—paying taxes instead of costing us taxpayers money.

2. In the midst of a pandemic, the sweeps fly in face of CDC guidelines. Shuffling people around creates a greater risk of spreading COVID-19. The sweeps are an unnecessary public health risk.

3. The sweep program as described by a city Councilmember has no endgame. Sweeps do not address the root of the issue. Our city’s policies of sweeps and punitive measures exacerbate the crisis while diverting resources from actually addressing the issue.

4. The sweeps run contradictory to most of our spiritual teachings. Our community loses the contributions of human potential each person can give when they are stuck in survival mode.

5. The principal effect of sweeps is counterproductive because they render already marginalized people even more destitute than before. By rousting people from their shelter, disposing of many of their possessions, we exacerbate their misery and undermine what little stability they have had to help them get a job or housing. Do we really want to surround ourselves with even more desperate people?

Charles Withuhn

One for Madden …

Recently, Chico Police Chief Matt Madden made comments during a KPAY radio interview that need to be questioned, regarding Stephen Vest’s killing by two Chico officers. Madden stated it was “irresponsible” for Chicoans to question the use of force immediately after the killing. I beg to differ.

Is it responsible for Madden to leave the impression the public has to abandon their First Amendment right to freedom of speech? Will Madden defend Constitutional rights or not? Maybe Chicoans opposed to the quick use of lethal force should become cop watchers?

Was Chief Madden correct when he told the host that the definition of deescalation was for an officer to “redirect behavior with words?” His comment was troubling and inaccurate. A direct quote defining deescalation from the Commission of Peace Officer Standards and Training manual, over 130 pages in length, is this: “Deescalation is the process of using strategies and techniques intended to decrease the intensity of the situation.” Did Madden forget the word “techniques” is plural?

Madden encouraged the listeners to go to the DA’s website and view the killing of Stephen. I hope all you CN&R readers will do so. Ask yourself, is Madden right when he says any “objectively reasonable” person will see the killing of Stephen was justifiable? I doubt objective Chicoans will think the 11 bullets fired into Stephen in two seconds were reasonable, objective or necessary. Do you agree with Madden?

Scott Rushing

… and one for LaMalfa

Re “Unforgiven” (Second & Flume, Feb. 11):

Congressman Doug LaMalfa is complicit with the events on Jan. 6 by fanning the flames of Trump’s ongoing lie the election would be, and then was, stolen. If LaMalfa is “One of us,” one really has to wonder: Who are we? We can not forget this and allow him to be elected again with his dismissiveness of the insurrection in the Capitol and his allegiance to a corrupt Trump versus honoring his oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

I share your challenge of never being able to see people the same way regarding [where] we fall on either side of the divide. These aren’t traditional differences around politics, but rather around values of common human decency, truth and accountability.

Ryan Miller

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1 Comment

  1. Under a new law signed last year, the new attorney general, Rob Bonta, will be tasked with investigating all deadly police shootings of unarmed civilians — one reason civil rights advocates pressured Newsom to appoint someone who will take a more active role in rooting out misconduct.

    Does DA Ramsey need to be rooted out? CNR readers can decide. There are several reasons the legislators passed this legislation that reigns in the power of a DA including, but not limited to, the following: the blatant conflict of interest for the police to be investigated by their colleagues in law enforcement with no checks and balances or civilian oversight, unnecessary use of lethal force by rogue cops, decertification of rogue cops, lack of transparency, rogue cops, the blue wall of silence, and helping police find their moral compass.

    I challenge CNR readers to view the killing of Richard Moulton posted on the DA’s website. Moulton was wanted for questioning but got SIXTY FIVE bullets shot at him in three seconds from nine “peace officers” as he exited his pickup truck. None of the officers were injured but one police car was hit with three friendly fire bullets. Is this an unnecessary use of lethal force? CNR readers can decide.

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