Already bleeding from a gunshot wound, Tyler Rushing was shot by Scott Ruppel, a Chico police officer, who shot Tyler again as he was being held up by Butte County Sheriff’s Deputy Ian Dickerson and didn’t fall down right away. Lying on the floor, Tyler was tased by yet another city employee there to serve and protect. This was in 2017, and Rushing died surrounded by cops and Tig, a dog who worked for Butte County and was brought in to bite him.
The Chico Police Department has refused even to reveal records on the Tyler Rushing killing, and District Attorney Michael L. Ramsey is fine with that, so Chico has a secret police force, good for the cop union, bad for the rest of us.
I just want an objective investigation of Rushing’s killing. Maybe the cops acted reasonably. So far, Ramsey and the cops have always investigated themselves, which makes sense only to them. Ramsey has been the District Attorney for Butte County since the 1980s, runs a tight fiefdom and fully supports bullies, sadists and cowards as long as they’re cops. Butte County citizens deserve an independent examination of the Rushing killing, including the potentially incriminating information that Ramsey and Matt Madden, Chico’s chief of police, obviously don’t want us to know about.
That jig is up. We all know that if they weren’t afraid—or maybe ashamed—of the truth, they wouldn’t need secrets.
By the way, why does government get to keep secrets? If government doesn’t owe us the truth, let’s change the structure of government. If government owes us the truth, who enforces those laws? What do you think will happen to the people who violate such laws? I’m guessing raises all around.
A former CN&R columnist, the author teaches creative writing at High Desert State Prison.