Butte

Congressman LaMalfa booed and cheered at Oroville Town Hall

LaMalfa holds Town Hall...

OROVILLE, Calif. - First District Congressman Doug LaMalfa took some heat and some praise from constituents during a Town Hall meeting held at the Oroville State Theatre on April 17.

According to the venue's ushers, more than 460 people attended, both in support of and against the congressman's political ideas.

The meeting, which began at 5:30 p.m., lasted beyond the scheduled end time of 7 p.m. People from all over the Northstate voiced their concerns and opinions during the two hour meeting.

Most of LaMalfa's supporters left before it was over, saying they were disappointed they couldn't hear the congressman's responses due to people shouting from the audience.

However, some stuck around for a chance to be heard at the podium.

"It's appalling," Victoria Smith said of the audience's decorum. Smith said she is a retired law officer.

At one point, Congressman LaMalfa (Dist.1) addressed the shouting by saying, "Do you shout in church? Do you shout in the classroom?"

National issues raised during the meeting included health care and domestic security. Local issues included the repair of the Oroville Dam and the case of Desmond Phillips.

Phillips, 25 of Chico, was shot and killed the night of Friday, March 17 by two Chico Police Officers after they responded to a call from Phillips' father.

According to his family, Desmond Phillips suffered from mental illness. Officers reported he was pacing his father's living room and holding two knives before they shot him a total of 16 times.

After an investigation into the incident, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey ruled the shooting justified.

Family members and supporters of the "Justice for Desmond" movement protested peacefully outside of the theater with signs and T-shirts.

David Phillips Jr., Phillips' older brother, gathered ten signatures for a petition to get Ramsey recalled from his position. Phillips Jr. said Ramsey is unaware of the petition.

"He needs to get ready because he's getting out of there," he said.

Inside the meeting, David Phillips spoke directly to the congressman about the loss of his son.

LaMalfa offered to meet with Phillips to discuss taking the matter to the state justice level.

David Phillips said LaMalfa's offer is a step in the right direction.

Congressman LaMalfa will hold his next Town Hall meeting in Redding on Wednesday, April 19 at 5:30 p.m. at Sequoia Middle School's auditorium. 


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