Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cops Beat "Possibly Intoxicated" Man to Death in Bakersfield; Citizen Camera Evidence Seized

Cops Beat "Possibly Intoxicated" Man to Death in Bakersfield; Citizen Camera Evidence Seized:

Modern policing, from Bakersfield California
Blood stains are still visible on the sidewalk at the corner of
Flower Street and Palm Drive, where a Bakersfield man struggled
with as many as nine officers and later died this week.

David Sal Silva, 33 and the father of four young children, died
early Wednesday morning after deputies say he fought with them and
CHP officers who'd responded to a report of a possibly intoxicated
man outside Kern Medical Center....
The Kern County Sheriff's Office says Silva resisted, a canine
was deployed, more law enforcement arrived, batons were used and
the man later had trouble breathing. He was taken to KMC, where he
died. An autopsy was slated for Thursday, but no results have been
Some witnesses apparently took cellphone video of the incident
but deputies moved quickly to seize the phones. The Sheriff's
Office, after releasing a statement Wednesday and naming its
officers Thursday, declined all further comment.
People who say they witnessed the incident as well as Silva's
family members described a scene in which deputies essentially were
beating a helpless man to death. They were indignant that cellphone
video had been taken away by deputies.....
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.
And apparently stealing any possible evidence of their guilt is
par for the course with the police:
John Tello, a criminal law attorney, is representing two
witnesses who took video footage and five other witnesses to the
incident. He said his clients are still shaken by what they
"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.....
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.
Oh well, one less possibly drunk guy in public is one less
possibly drunk guy in public, right?
Silva left behind four children, ranging from ages 2 to 10 years
old. As of Thursday afternoon, his mother said, they hadn't figured
out how to tell the children their father is dead.