May 8, Bakersfield, CA: Kern County Deputies & CHP Cops Mercilessly Bludgeon to Death Father of Four After Approaching Him While Asleep "when he was doing nothing": Witness Arrested and Video Cell Phones Confiscated
May 16, 2013
Almost all local radio stations are defending this police department and TRUSTING that justice will be done and the officers are exonerated. Sickening.
Mr Silva was killed right before Mother's Day,
3 simple questions:
1. Why was this man not tazered with the 1 of 9 tazers present on the scene?
2. How can a police department confiscate video of the scene, in effect confiscating evidence that a crime took place? If this is the precedent, we have no hope of documenting abuse.
3. Why was a witness to the crime immediately arrested afterward and jailed on trumped up charges of being under the influence?
This should outrage every citizen of the US. This could be you. No trial, no jury and no chance to explain yourself.
David Silva Beaten to Death by Police + Eyewitness Accusing Cops of Murder
May 8th, 2013 BAKERSFIELD, CA -- Kern County deputies beat an intoxicated man to death in the street Tuesday night, then detained and intimidated witnesses, confiscated video evidence, and arrested another man who spoke out. David Silva was beaten with batons, left in a pool of blood until an ambulance finally arrived after he was already dead.
A female 9-1-1 caller named Selena told the dispatcher, "There's a man laying on the floor, and your police officers beat the (expletive) out of him and killed him." She said that she witnessed the victim do nothing wrong to cause 8 officers to bludgeon him to death. "These cops had no reason to do this to this man."
A 19-year-old male witness, Ruben Ceballos, was awakened around midnight by screams and loud banging noises outside his home. He said he ran to the left side of his house to find out who was causing the ruckus."When I got outside I saw two officers beating a man with batons and they were hitting his head so every time they would swing, I could hear the blows to his head." He said that Silva was on the ground screaming for help, but officers continued to beat him After several minutes, Silva stopped screaming and was no longer responsive, according to Ceballos.
Another witness, Jason Land, said that he witnessed the beating of David Silva. "They jumped out, reached for their bats, and beat that man until they killed him," he said, "right in front of my face." Land spoke up about what he saw and was arrested as retaliation. The witness was on probation and says police responded to his eyewitness report by claiming he was high on PCP and arrested him without any proof.
Witnesses also say that the victim's body was left to bleed out in the street for a prolonged period without any medical attention, wasting crucial minutes before the ambulance arrived. By that point, it was too late and CPR attempts were futile.
Other witnesses, including Melissa Quair, were harassed and told that they must surrender their cell phones as "evidence." Their houses were even searched as a crime scene in order to confiscate the video evidence.
The victim's brother, Christopher Silva, says his brother was murdered and wants justice. He is demanding that his brother's body be released so that he can see the result of the beating. He wants the confiscated videos to be released. "My brother spent the last eight minutes of his life pleading, begging for his life. The true evidence is in those phone witnesses that apparently the sheriff deputies already took. But I know the truth will come out and my brother's voice will be heard."
The sharp cracks echoing from the East Bakersfield street were loud enough to jolt Ruben Ceballos from a midnight slumber. Then he heard screams.
The 19-year-old jumped from his living room sofa and hurried to the kitchen door, which offered a view of the violent scene outside — Kern County sheriff's deputies repeatedly striking a man in the head with batons as he lay on the pavement.
"I saw two sheriff's deputies on top of this guy, just beating him," Ceballos said in an interview Monday. "He was screaming in pain ... asking for help. He was incapable of fighting back — he was outnumbered, on the ground. They just beat him up."
The man was David Sal Silva, 33, a father of four, and he was pronounced dead less than an hour later. The altercation last week was videotaped by witnesses and has roiled the Central Valley city for days.
One woman frantically called 911, telling the operator: "The guy was laying on the floor and eight sheriffs ran up and started beating him up with sticks. The man is dead laying right here, right now. I got it all on video camera and I'm sending it to the news. These cops have no reason to do this to this man."
In an unusual move, sheriff's officials later detained for several hours two witnesses who had videotaped the incident on their phones. They were released only after they surrendered their phones to deputies.
"It makes it look like a coverup," said David Cohn, a lawyer for Silva's children and parents, adding that he has not been able to see the footage. "What we're all concerned about is, 'Are these videos going to be altered? Are they going to be deleted?' "
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said in an interview Monday that it was too early in the investigation to reach any conclusions about Silva's death. But he defended the decision to take custody of the phones as a way of preserving possible evidence. The sheriff said his office obtained a search warrant for the phones.
"We still have to secure the evidence, especially when the evidence can tell us whether we did it right or wrong," Youngblood said.
He said his agency, to remove the appearance of any conflict, has asked the Bakersfield Police Department to analyze the phone videos.
KERO-TV Channel 23 in Bakersfield broadcast a security camera video from the scene showing grainy images of figures pummeling someone on the ground, with about 20 swings of what appear to be batons or sticks. It's difficult to see Silva in the seven-minute video or how many of those swings connected.
"My brother spent the last eight minutes of his life pleading, begging for his life," said Christopher Silva, 31, brother of the dead man. He said he's talked to witnesses but did not see the incident himself. At about midnight, Ruben Ceballos, 19,was awakened by screams and loud banging noises outside his home. He said he ran to the left side of his house to find out who was causing the ruckus. "When I got outside I saw two officers beating a man with batons and they were hitting his head so every time they would swing, I could hear the blows to his head," Ceballos said.
Silva was on the ground screaming for help, but officers continued to beat him, Ceballos said. After several minutes, Ceballos said, Silva stopped screaming and was no longer responsive."
the batons are in fact telescopic ASP high carbon steel with a steel tip. I was trained to never strike the spine or head, it is lethal, and NEVER was I trained to conduct an 8 on 1 beating. 4 guys can handcuff a guy. There is a USE of FORCE Matrix applied to all police depts. everywhere.Nonlethal force first,spray,tazer,baton,firearm.This was murder period! I'm an oathkeeper and resigned due to corruption.Americans please dont let them get away with this. You dad may be next.
Questions, suspicion and grief hang over in-custody death case;
By BakersfieldNow.com staff Published: May 9, 2013 at 7:02 PM PDT Last Updated: May 10, 2013 at 11:07 AM PDT
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Two days after a 33-year-old man died while in the custody of Kern County deputies, the questions and accusations are mounting.
David Silva died just after midnight Wednesday, minutes after a confrontation with deputies. Law officers reportedly tried to take Silva into custody for public intoxication, and Silva allegedly fought and resisted arrest. The sheriff's office has admitted to using "baton strikes" to gain control of the situation.
Friday morning, the coroner's office released its first post-autopsy comment, which left much unanswered: "After completing an autopsy, the cause of death is pending toxicology and microscopic studies."
Silva's family is now reacting, telling the public about the man they knew, and accusing the deputies of murdering their loved one.
Witnesses are also accusing deputies of beating Silva to death without just cause. They also claim the sheriff's office has targeted them for speaking out about what they saw that night.
EYEWITNESS NEWS TEAM COVERAGE(Click headlines for extended versions)
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Still more questions have been raised about the death of a suspect in Kern County Sheriff's Office custody. A witness to the incident asked why he was arrested hours after talking to a reporter, and a family questioned the way their cellphone video of the incident was seized.
A photograph from the family of David Silva showing him and his three daughters Makayla, 10, Katelyn, 4, and Chelsey, 8. (Source: The Bakersfield Californian)
David Sal Silva, a 33-year-old father of four small children between the ages of 4 and 10, was beaten to death by as many as nine police officers in Bakersfield, California, early Wednesday morning. Police say Silva was intoxicated and fighting officers. But this was contradicted by several eyewitnesses.
Grainy security camera footage obtained by 23ABC from a person who was “afraid of a cover-up by deputies and wanted ‘the truth to come out’”, appears to corroborate witness accounts, showing several men striking a man laying on the ground with objects over a dozen times.
The release of a 911 call from a woman who witnessed the beating (listen here) doesn’t bode well for the officers either. The woman can be heard telling the dispatcher:
“There’s a man laying on the floor and your police officers beat the shit out of him and killed him. I have it all on video camera.I am sitting here on the corner of Flower and Palm right now and you have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight Sheriffs. The guy was laying on the floor and eight Sheriff’s ran up and started beating him up with sticks. The man is dead laying right here, right now.”
Despite the hazy security footage and 911 call, police are sticking to their story. So, someone is lying. But who? Fortunately, at least two witnesses captured the beating on their cell phones. However, the devices were immediately seized by police, which is illegal in California.
Cops vs. Witnesses
Kern County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ray Pruitt says that a deputy with a canine was responding to a call from Kern Medical Facility late Tuesday night about an intoxicated man outside when he spotted and approached Silva at a nearby intersection. Pruitt claims that Silva put up a fight when the deputy attempted to take him into custody, at which point more deputies and two California Highway Patrol officers showed up to help. Silva then had trouble breathing. He was taken to Kern Medical Center and died less than an hour later.
But Witnesses tell a very different story.
Just minutes before Silva’s encounter with police, a woman, who asked not to be identified, toldABC23 that she saw Silva lying on the sidewalk seemingly unconscious. ”I seen the guy laying there. I thought something was wrong with him. Then when I saw him moving… I saw his chest moving up and down…I knew that he was just drunk and eventually he’ll wake up,” the woman said.
It’s hard to imagine that Silva was able to muster the strength to fight off several police officers just minutes after he was purportedly incapacitated.
Ruben Ceballos, 19, toldThe Bakersfield Californian he was at his home and in bed when he awoke around midnight to screams and loud bangs, which he soon recognized as the sound of police batons smashing into Silva’s skull. ”When I got outside I saw two officers beating a man with batons and they were hitting his head so every time they would swing, I could hear the blows to his head,” Ceballos said. The beating continued for several minutes despite the desperate cries for help. Then Silva went silent and became unresponsive, Ceballos said.
“His body was just lying on the street and before the ambulance arrived one of the officers performed CPR on him and another one used a flashlight on his eyes but I’m sure he was already dead.”
The Sheriff’s office told the Californian that they will not comment on the case until their investigation into the matter is complete.
Recording the Police is Not a Crime
Criminal law attorney John Tello is representing seven witnesses to Silva’s beating. Two of them say they recorded the incident on their cell phones. Tello told the Californian of the disturbing lengths police went to seize his client’s device:
“When I arrived to the home of one of the witnesses that had video footage, she was with her family sitting down on the couch, surrounded by three deputies,” Tello said.
Tello said the witness was not allowed to go anywhere with her phone and was being quarantined inside her home.
When Tello tried to talk to the witness in private and with the phone, one of the deputies stopped him and told him he couldn’t take the phone anywhere because it was evidence to the investigation, the attorney said.
“This was not a crime scene where the evidence was going to be destroyed,” Tello said. “These were concerned citizens who were basically doing a civic duty of preserving the evidence, not destroying it as they (sheriff deputies) tried to make it seem.”
A search warrant wasn’t presented to either of the witnesses until after Tello arrived, he said, adding that one phone was seized before the warrant was produced.
Tello said the phone of the first witness was taken after the deputies told him he was either going to give up the phone the easy way or the hard way.
“They basically told him they were either going to keep him at this house all night until they could find a judge to sign a search warrant or he could just turn over his phone,” he said.
The witness gave up his phone two hours before he had to get to work and was told by deputies that he could collect his phone the next day after they had extracted the evidence they needed, Tello said.
However, the witness never got his phone back, Tello said, and was told it could take years before he does because the investigation could take a long time.
“My main concern is that these witnesses are not harassed by deputies because this case can make others who see crimes happening not want to speak up because of the way law enforcement handles situations,” Tello said.
If the deputies did in fact beat a helpless man to death, they have good reason to fear the recordings.
In Fullerton, California, just two and half hours away from Bakersfield, cell phone footage was instrumental in holding police accountable for beating Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man, to death in 2011.
Though California is a two-party consent state (requires all parties to consent to an audio or video recording for the the recording to be legal), the law does not apply in public settings due to an “expectation of privacy” provision. More importantly, police are not permitted to confiscate a cell phone unless the phone was used in a crime. Therefore, the seizure of cell phones by the Sheriff’s deputies was illegal.
Silva’s Family Wants Answers
Silva’s younger brother, 31-year-old Christopher, was devastated after learning the details of his brothers death from witnesses. ”My brother spent the last eight minutes of his life pleading, begging for his life,” he told the Californian.
At a press conference Friday, Cohn praised witnesses for “policing the police” by recording the beating. He also expressed concern that the police might tamper with the footage.
“Those videos that were taken are the most important piece to this case and another main concern is that those videos aren’t altered or destroyed by the Sheriff’s Department,” Cohn said. ”We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. And thank God we have concerned citizens who take video and pictures of incidents like this and who are ultimately policing the police.” He addressed the Sheriff’s department directly, asking, “what are you hiding?”
Meanwhile, Silva’s mother, Merri, is struggling with how to tell her grandchildren that they no longer have a father. But her grief has only strengthened her desire for justice, which goes far beyond her son’s horrific death. Expressing concern for future victims of police brutality, she told the Californian, ”If I don’t do anything about my son’s death then it will just be pushed to the side and I don’t want this to happen to another person.”
Kern County Sheriff's Office
Kern County Sheriff's Office
1350 Norris Road
Bakersfield, CA 93308-2231
All information posted on this web site is
the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only.
It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor
can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer
of your choice for medical care and advice.