My Comment: This happens far too often, is this the new normal? A Police State? What have we become!?
A shocking video has captured the moment a father-of-four was savagely beaten to death by a group of sheriff’s deputies who found him passed out in a Bakersfield, California, street.
The explosive footage comes as the Kern County sheriff’s department is accused of trying to cover up the alleged murder of David Silva, 33, apparently seizing cell phones of witnesses who filmed the horrifying incident.
Family members aren’t sure why Silva came to be intoxicated, sleeping in the road opposite Kern Medical Center last Tuesday night, though he had told his mother earlier that evening he was having ‘personal issues.’
A statement from the sheriff’s department said a deputy and K9 were sent to the area after someone reported a possibly intoxicated man. The deputy called for backup and another seven officers plus two members of the California Highway Patrol showed up.
The statement said Silva resisted when the deputies tried to restrain him, forcing them to use their batons on him.
However, multiple witnesses, many of whom filmed the violent scene unfolding, claim the attack was completely unprovoked.
Sulina Quair, 34, called 911 and can be heard saying: ‘There’s a man laying on the floor, and your police officers beat the **** out of him and killed him…
‘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. You’ve got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 sheriffs. The guy was laying on the floor and eight sheriffs ran up and started beating him up with sticks. The man is dead, laying here right here, right now.’
Beatings: The dark footage, captured left and right, shows the man laying on the street being beaten repeatedly with batons
Injustice: The explosive footage comes as the Kern County sheriff’s department is accused of trying to cover up the alleged murder of David Silva, 33, pictured with tree of his children
Another witness, Ruben Ceballos, 19, said in a Monday interview he was woken up by the sounds of police batons cracking Silva’s head.
‘I saw two sheriff’s deputies on top of this guy, just beating him,’ Ceballos told the LA Times. ‘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.’
Sheriff’s investigators later seized cellphones from witnesses and in two cases witnesses were detained for hours until they agreed to hand over their phones, according to David Cohn, a lawyer for Silva’s devastated family.
‘It makes it look like a coverup,’ Cohn told the Times. ‘What we’re all concerned about is, “Are these videos going to be altered? Are they going to be deleted?”‘
The latest footage was supplied to 23 ABC News on the condition of anonymity. It is grainy and dark but shows the outline of men using batons to brutally beat another man laying in the street.
Sheriff Donny Youngblood told the newspaper it was too early to reach any conclusions about Silva’s death. But he said the deputies’ decision to confiscate the phones was the right thing to do.
‘We still have to secure the evidence, especially when the evidence can tell us whether we did it right or wrong,’ Youngblood said.
A statement from the sheriff’s department said a deputy and K9 were sent to an area across from the Kent Medical Center at 11:55 p.m. on Tuesday on reports of a possibly intoxicated man.
They said Silva resisted when the deputies tried to restrain him, forcing them to use their batons on him. The statement said Silva stopped breathing and was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The police department identified seven deputies involved in Silva’s arrest as Sgt. Douglas Sword, Deputy Ryan Greer, Deputy Tanner Miller, Deputy Jeffrey Kelly, Deputy Luis Almanza, Deputy Brian Brock, and Deputy David Stephens.
Two California Highway Patrol officers also responded, though they haven’t been identified. All officers are still working, something which has outraged Silva’s family.
On Monday, CHP spokesman Robert Rodriguez told KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News that the car that arrived on the scene got dashboard camera video of the incident but he said he was unable to reveal what that video captured.
Rodriguez said the footage has been turned over to the sheriff’s department.
Silva’s brother Chris Silva said it ‘hurt his head’ to watch the disturbing video, given to him by the witness who captured it.
Family man: David Silva, pictured with his family, was pronounced dead just after midnight after the alleged attack
Unprovoked: Witnesses said the man, pictured right, was laying on the ground and at no point provoked officers
‘Constant bashing, this is constant bashing,’ Chris Silva told Eyewitness News. ‘You can count, you know — I can’t keep track. And it hurts my heart looking at this.’
The incident took place across the road from Kern Medical Center. Chris Silva told Eyewitness News that it wasn’t clear why David Silva was at KMC, but they believe he went there because he needed help.
The victim’s brother said Silva was at their mother’s house at around 5 p.m on Wednesday at which time he told her he was dealing with some ‘personal issues.’
Chris Silva told the news station his brother gave their mother a hug then left, and that was the last time any of them saw him alive.
Silva’s uncle, Ralph Silva, identified his nephews body and told KGET what he saw.
‘(He had a) bruised up face, chin, ear, busted lip, broken nose, black eye, all marks all over his face,’ he said.
Cohn has six months to file a civil lawsuit against the Kern County Sheriff’s Department in Fresno federal court.
Chris Silva said the family want to know why an ambulance wasn’t called to help his brother as he was laying on the street, rather than police.
‘Instead of calling police on a man that’s on the ground, why wasn’t an ambulance called?’ Chris Silva said. ‘Why wasn’t there assistance given?’
While the video is dark and captured at a distance, Chris Silva has labeled it a ‘gift’ and hopes it will help get the truth out about what happened to his brother.
‘Are we rushing to conclusions or judgment?’ he said. ‘No, we’re just trying to get the truth told. I just want people to ask why? And the question is, why did my brother have to die?’
He added: ‘I’ll do anything to get that story out, and I’ll do anything to make sure this wouldn’t happen again to anybody.’
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