Police Follow Up Beating A 'Possibly Intoxicated' Man To Death By Seizing Witnesses' Cell Phones

from the keeping-the-peace-at-a-ratio-of-nine-to-one dept

How many law enforcement officers does it take to subdue one intoxicated man? In Bakersfield, CA, it takes nine: seven sheriff’s deputies, two CHP officers and a police dog. It also appears that being publicly intoxicated and resisting arrest in Bakersfield is punishable by immediate death in the same county.

At this point, consider everything regarding the beating to be “alleged.” After all, we don’t have any conclusive evidence of what happened, despite two people filming it (and a handful of eyewitnesses) because law enforcement made sure every recording of the event (except one — more on that in a bit) was seized as “evidence.”

Also, keep in mind that David Silva, the thirty-three year old father of four who was allegedly beaten to death by nine law enforcement officers, was only allegedly intoxicated and violent. Evidence of his crime(s) disappeared along with the footage of multiple cops swinging batons. (I suppose this will be verified when the autopsy results are made public, presumably featuring a full toxicology report.)

Here’s an eyewitness account of the beating:

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 phones used to record the incident were seized by law enforcement as “evidence.” As it’s highly doubtful the sheriff’s department is looking into charging a dead man with a crime, the only “investigation” possible would be a look into the actions of the officers at the scene. This also means the only criminal activity captured on film would be the officers’. Turning over the only copy of evidence to the perpetrators is generally considered to be a terrible idea. But when you’ve just witnessed nine law enforcement officers beat a man into unconsciousness (and eventual death), your normal citizen is probably going to think twice before telling another officer, “No.”

But the witnesses held out as long as they could. The incident happened around midnight. The two witnesses who had recorded the event (a male whose name hasn’t been released and Maria Melendez) were called back to their apartment by the sheriff’s department. This was at 3 AM. At that point, the officers demanded they turn over their cell phones. They refused to do so without being served a warrant. The officers then detained them in the apartment, telling them they couldn’t leave without turning over their phones.

Three hours later, the male turned over his phone, stating he needed to be to work in a couple of hours. The officers detained Melendez for nearly nine hours. The search warrant finally arrived around noon and Melendez relinquished her phone. The two witnesses were told they could pick up their phones the next day. When the unnamed male went to recover his, he found the timeframe had now changed to “months, even years” before he could get his phone back.

Two bits of evidence have made their way into the public, unimpeded by sheriff’s deputies with endless amounts of time to waste and rights to violate. The first is a 911 call reporting the beating made by Salinas Quair, Melendez’s daughter. This call alerted law enforcement to the fact that the (alleged) beating had been recorded, triggering the intimidating roundup (and detainment) of these witnesses.

There’s a man laying on the floor and your police officers beat the [explicit] out of him and killed him,” said the woman. “I have it all on video camera.”

The woman continued:

“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.”

The second piece of evidence, a security camera recording, was turned over by an individual who (unsurprisingly) has refused to go on camera or reveal his or her name. Here’s KERO TV’s (Bakersfield) description of the recordings’ contents.

The grainy black and white video appears to show the alleged victim, David Silva, 33, lying on the ground. Another person is then seen walking up to Silva and attempting to pick him up. Both men appear to scuffle, and after a few minutes, Silva is seen being struck with an object.

Other cars are seen arriving at the scene with lights flashing on top of them. Several other men are then seen in the video, also striking Silva more than a dozen times with objects. Silva is then seen being taken into custody.

If you click through and watch the footage, at about 4:05 an officer can be seen taking a two-handed swing with a baton. Shortly thereafter, more officers arrive. One of the first to arrive also takes a two-handed swing with a baton. In all, nine baton-swinging officers showed up. A spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office reassures everyone that the officers felt no need to deploy any of their other weaponry, as well as undercounting the number of respondents.

KCSO Spokesperson Ray Pruitt told 23 ABC it took 5 deputies, 2 CHP officers and a K-9 to subdue Silva.

Pruitt said officers were forced to use their batons to arrest Silva but no tazers, pepper spray or guns were used during the altercation.

His count is off. Here are the names of the Sheriff’s Department personnel involved in the incident, as released by the Sheriff’s Office.

The office did identify the officers involved in the arrest as Sgt. Douglas Sword and deputies Ryan Greer, Tanner Miller, Jeffrey Kelly, Luis Almanza, Brian Brock and David Stephens.

That’s seven from the sheriff’s department. The names of the two CHP officers have not been released. That’s nine altogether, plus a police dog.

One has to wonder, though, how the officers were “forced” to use their batons. Perhaps some force was needed to subdue Silva, but with nine officers responding (and swinging), you’d think the tide would have turned in law enforcement’s favor long before Silva lost consciousness. And how much “resistance” did Silva actually offer, considering the first officer on the scene was responding to a call from Kern Medical Center security who reported Silva as “passed out?”

End result: a man loses his life for being intoxicated. Nine officers beat Silva senseless take Silva “into custody,” which in this case is synonymous with “attempt CPR and call an ambulance.” Ironically, Silva was only a block away from Kern Medical Center, not that it did him any good.

Not content to limit its wrongdoing to a beating, deputies then barge into a home without a warrant and detain two citizens against their will, one of them for nearly nine hours, until the warrant they should have needed just to get in the door at 3 AM finally shows up at noon.

Now, all of the inarguable evidence is in the hands of the same people who would prefer it just went away. It will be tough for them to get away with simply deleting the recordings, but stranger things have happened to evidence that implicates law enforcement officers but has ended up in the possession of law enforcement. The recording can be termed “unrecoverable” or have inexplicably large gaps in the footage. Or the phone may be damaged during “processing.” Sometimes, the evidence just vanishes conveniently and a lengthy internal investigation will unwind at a glacial pace until everyone loses interest.

There’s a law enforcement problem here, and the problem is with the brand of “enforcement” that bypasses the law entirely. David Silva’s death at the hands of police officers conjures up images of similar methods being deployed to subdue a schizophrenic homeless man in nearby Fullerton, CA. Kelly Thomas was beaten by several officers, resulting in a death by “mechanical suppression of the thorax.” This one was caught on tape (via security camera), as well as captured more intimately by a microphone worn by one of the officers.

The people who witnessed this beating have nowhere to go. They can’t trust the police and they’ve seen those who recorded the event quarantined in their home until they complied with the officers’ requests to turn over their phones. If not for the constitutional violations committed by “law enforcement,” the footage would already be publicly displayed. The longer the Sheriff’s office delays in releasing this footage, the worse it appears. If this went down as described, there’s no way law enforcement can hope to salvage some respect by attempting to downplay or justify the actions of these officers.

Even if Silva was putting up the fight of his life, he was intoxicated and was outnumbered 9-to-1. Any reasonable person would expect a suspect to be subdued before it got to the point where it became life-threatening. But any hopes of a reasonable outcome were discarded the moment that first two-handed swing connected.

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Comments on “Police Follow Up Beating A 'Possibly Intoxicated' Man To Death By Seizing Witnesses' Cell Phones”

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art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re:

uh huh…
that is the gist of it, but i know i have promulgated this quote in a slightly different form, which is paraphrased from kennedy’s original quote…
to be clear, he was referring to -you know- other countries, not -you know- US… hee hee hee

the paraphrase i’ve used is along the lines of:
those who make peaceful dissent impossible, make violent revolution inevitable…

his actual quote wasn’t quite as pithy (or pissy), but amounted to much the same…

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

so what ? ? ?

its the word of scumbag citizens against infallible donut eaters, guess which gets preferential treatment at EVERY turn in the (in)justice system ? ? ?

EVEN WITH video (see: king, rodney) it is nearly impossible to bring down the thin blue line of liars… they break the law with impunity and there are ZERO repercussions (99% of the time); we hoi polloi can’t even follow the law assiduously, and we will STILL get jacked up by the goons of the state…

we have NO rights, only that we don’t get beaten today at the sufferance of our jailers…
(yes, the cell is cozy, and we have teevee and cheezy doodles and sugar water; but it is still a cell, and we are still prisoners…)

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

anonymouse says:

Re: Re:

The best thing is to release it online for everyone to see, this is happening so much now that there are videos uploaded to some sites almost weekly, yes as one commenter states this has become a police state, when the police can repeatedly get away with murder with no recrimination and no punishment the power they must feel they have must be overwhelming.

Sadly the public will retaliate one day when people start fighting back, knowing that any contact with the police, even for possibly reporting a crime (in on case) could lead to you being “lawfully” murdered.

People really need to start protecting themselves from the police, and shooting them if they think they are in trouble, and every citizens should be joining in when they see a case like this, taking their guns out of storage and using them to stop these murderers. I would have rather seen 8 dead cops in this case than one dead drunk. he is worth more than all of them combined.

one thing this teaches people is don’t trust the police in America and always be ready to pull your gun to defend yourself.And no there are no good cops if the police force as a whole is not coming out and condemning these thugs.

madasahatter (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Excessive police violence without porportionate charges and convictions will lead to more violence.

What is puzzling is why the police did not just copy the video off the phones or even ask to have it emailed to someone. The technology readily exists. Of course this assumes the Kern County Gestapo is interested in justice and not covering up murder.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:police state

before long the bill of rights will no longer exist, look at Justice Dept seizing A.P. phone records, Homeland security buying huge amounts of ammunition so much so the average person will not be able to buy it. And for those of you who scoff at second amendment rights once you water down any of them they are all affected, if the President has his way the second amendment will be done away with, then one by one the others will fall. If they can justify removing even one then goodby 1st, good bye 5th then say hello to the collective, where you have no rights, you are a state slave

BearGriz72 (profile) says:

Re: "transfer it to the internet"

I don’t know about anybody else, but my phone does this automatically, as soon as I take a picture or video it is ‘automagicly’ uploaded to at least two locations (Google+ & Dropbox) almost immediately.

Now if the police did seize my phone before it uploaded, even if they turned it off or shielded it from RF (e.g. a faraday bag), it would still auto-upload as soon as it got a good cell network signal (both of these apps have the option for uploading via Wi-Fi only, but I chose the upload over BOTH cellular and wifi options specifically for this reason).

Now, you could say that if they have access to my phone then the police could crack my phone lock and then access my Google+ and Dropbox accounts and delete the “offending” image/video, and that is true, however Dropbox has a feature where you have to enter a pin code to access it (but it still uploads updates automatically), so they would have to crack that as well.

The upside of this is it gives me time to access either of those services from another device and copy/share the file so that it can not be ultimately destroyed.

See Also: THIS and This2

Slayn82 says:

Re: Re:

Too bad the american internet conections are so terrible because of what are technically monopolies, so uploading to dropbox could really take some time, and not everyone keeps their computers on at 3:00 AM, while wireless could still be on. And too bad that images or movies taken with smartphones get watermarked, so that in theory someone could identify who is the owner/creator of the register in case, if they had access to some kind of central database, or at least get a clue to their whereabouts.

Maybe their best argument could conceivably be the copyright of the images, and that for purposes of investigation they would offer law enforcement a non exclusive, limited, licenced copy, provided free of charge.

Ben (profile) says:

No Tazers?

Pruitt said officers were forced to use their batons to arrest Silva but no tazers, pepper spray or guns were used during the altercation.

Interesting that they don’t use any of the non-lethal means to incapacitate (tazers or pepper spray) and seem to be proud of it [I acknowledge that is just my opinion on what they stated]. I can imagine someone intoxicated might be able to shrug off the pepper spray, but I doubt they’d be able to shrug off the effects of a tazer.

Most people don’t have a law firm on retainer; I certainly don’t, but it is situations like this that make me wonder if I should just so I’d have someone to call (if they allowed me to call!)

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: No Tazers?

It would be interesting because the usage of all three of those has to be carefully logged. If they aren’t already, then cops should be held accountable for every single bullet shot, every tazer cartidge. All of those would be undeniable facts, whereas here, I presume the cops in question can say the suspect was already beaten when he got on the scene and their use of batons is complete hearsay.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: No Tazers?

If they aren’t already, then cops should be held accountable for every single bullet shot, every tazer cartidge.

It depends on the department policy. Most of the departments I am aware of (which is actually a very, very small sample,) require use of force forms for anything above talking/yelling. Use of a baton or physical force, less than lethal force, and lethal force all are required to be logged by the officer, and in some cases, may be investigated by detectives from internal affairs and/or independent third party reviewers (Police Oversight Committees, the DA, and lawyers.)

The problem is who they are accountable to…they may be required by policy to complete use of force forms, but those forms can disappear within the bureaucracy or may be tampered with, and they may just ignore policy and not file a use-of-force form if they think they will get away with it.

It is important to note that any use of force, even those called “non-lethal” (I wish they’d stop calling it that, because any use of force could be lethal. It is less than lethal, if used properly against a healthy individual, but there is always a chance, and sometimes a pretty high chance that any use of force may result in a death.) People have been known to have extreme reactions to pepper spray, and tazers could kill. And a baton against the head or chest is likely to severely injure or kill just like any other hard, blunt object. And even “choke holds” (carotid holds/arm-barred holds) can kill.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No Tazers?

And a baton against the head…

?Spokane cop expected to resign in Zehm plea deal? by Jonathan Brunt, The Spokesman-Review, April 24, 2013

Another Spokane police officer is being toppled by the Otto Zehm scandal.?.?.?.

n 2009, Moses told a grand jury in sworn testimony that Thompson told him that he had struck Zehm in the head, neck and upper torso with his baton and that he relayed that information to the ambulance company, AMR, which transported Zehm to the hospital.

But in 2010, Moses met with federal officials and told them he no longer remembered telling an AMR employee that Thompson had struck Zehm in the head, neck and upper torso. Instead, Moses said he remember Thompson saying that he struck Zehm in the ?leg and then again a number of times all over.?

The point is important. Striking a defending in the head with a baton is considered deadly force, which requires a higher threshold for use.?.?.?.?.

ChrisB (profile) says:

Re: No Tazers?

This is very ironic, given police forces everywhere have actually been criticized for using tasers on people. Civil liberty groups have actually called for a moratorium on tasers after incidences like the death of Robert Dziekański.

They can’t have it both ways, because there will always be drunk/high/crazed individuals and we need a way of subduing them. Personally, I’d prefer a taser to a baton.

anonymouse says:

Re: Re: No Tazers?

Maybe this was a way the cops could teach those against tazers what happens if they don’t use them, you know kill someone and say that if they had been allowed to use a tazer he would not have died or at least would have had a chance.
I say they should be arrested by the FBI taken into custody and fully interrogated to see if this was a premeditated incident, which would mean the fbi should go in and arrest everyone involved in the chain of command and chain of evidence if the evidence is tampered with or lost. Let the FBI use the full might of their power to resolve cases like this not the local police forces.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No Tazers?

“they should be arrested by the FBI taken into custody and fully interrogated to see if this was a premeditated incident, which would mean the fbi should go in and arrest everyone involved in the chain of command and chain of evidence if the evidence is tampered with or lost.”

Dream on. The FBI is too busy stopping its own terrorist plots to investigate truly important problems.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No Tazers?

“You are telling me 9 trained cops could not subdue one passed out intoxicated person without killing him.”

Only in America. In fact, here is an interesting video


Only in America does it take several squad cars and police officers, helicopters, etc… to go after one vehicle (or person). In America they send nine police officers, five squad cars, and a fire truck to get a cat out of a tree (the fire truck to provide the ladder and the police force to protect the fire truck. and please note this is satire).

If you see Cops (the show) in other countries they don’t have this overreaction problem to every minor thing that happens. Only in America.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No Tazers?

It’s like an immune system overreacting to something relatively harmless causing far more harm than the target. It can cause allergies or, even worse, anaphylactic shock.

You get a bunch of mosquito bites and you’re not used to them it can cause all sorts of skin problems due to your immune system overreacting (if you visited a ‘poor’ country you know what I mean). Over time you get used to it and your immune system no longer overreacts and then it’s no longer really a problem. The mosquito bites are relatively harmless but it’s your bodies inexperienced reaction that causes more harm than good. Our police force is like an inexperienced immune system overreacting to something relatively harmless.

Pseudonym (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No Tazers?

Only in America.

That’s true, but to be fair to the cops, only in America is there a significant chance that there may already be firearms present wherever they go. If any person you encounter could be capable of responding with deadly force, it’s at least understandable that you might err on the side of overreaction.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: No Tazers?

Clubs count as “nonlethal weapons”.

Blows to the head count as deadly force.

?Police officer gets prison time for beating death, cover up?, MyNorthwest.com, Nov 19, 2012

Thompson denied hitting Zehm in the head with his baton because that would have constituted deadly force, which he admitted was not justified in this case.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No Tazers?

I haven’t look up this case yet, so all I have is the citation and the extract.

People v. Lochtefeld (2000), 77 Cal.App.4th 533, 538.

As used in section 245 [of the California Penal Code], … a ?deadly weapon? is ?any object, instrument, or weapon which is used in such a manner as to be capable of producing and likely to produce, death or great bodily injury.??

After I read this case, it may turn out that it says something totally different….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 No Tazers?

The actual penal code states:

“(a)(1) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.”

In this case, the definition of “deadly weapon” doesn’t matter. Whether it was or wasn’t deadly weapon, the force was certainly “likely to produce great bodily injury”.

(“The hand or foot cannot be a weapon, as used in Penal Code ? 245(a)(1) [assault with a deadly weapon]. The term “deadly weapon” implies an object extrinsic to the body. However, the use of hands or feet may constitute an assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. (People v. Aguilar, 16 Cal.4th 1023, 68 Cal.Rptr.2d 655, 945 P.2d 1204 (1997).)”)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 No Tazers?

People v Frey (Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District, Division Two, 2009)

[Appellant] contends that the evidence is insufficient to support the judgment because it fails to demonstrate that he used a deadly weapon or instrument to commit the assault.

We find no merit to the contention and affirm the judgment.


?.?.?. Appellant, the driver, quickly emerged from his car holding something that looked like a club or pipe that was eight to twelve inches long and slightly less than one inch thick.?.?.?.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No Tazers?

Always read the text of the statute first.

California Penal Code Section 245.

(a) (1) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

(Emphasis added.)

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No Tazers?

I think you’re confusing two things. “Nonlethal weapons” (now more properly called “less-lethal weapons”) and weapons that can kill.

“Nonlethal weapons” are an artificial distinction made by the cops. Whether or not they are capable of killing isn’t relevant, and even if they do result in death, they’re still “nonlethal weapons”.

This is a bureaucratic thing, so it doesn’t have to make sense.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 No Tazers?

Did you see the link I just posted to People v Frey (Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District, Division Two, 2009)

In that case, the appellant tried to make the same stupid argument that you’re making.

He lost.

I know you’re trying to sugarcoat what the cops did here, and pretend “oh, it wasn’t really so bad.” But it’s a losing argument.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 No Tazers?

In that case, the appellant tried to make the same stupid argument that you’re making.

I don’t see John making any such argument. I see you getting bent out of shape about people saying stuff that they didn’t say.

I know you’re trying to sugarcoat what the cops did here, and pretend “oh, it wasn’t really so bad.” But it’s a losing argument.

I am struggling to find, anywhere in this entire thread, where anyone has said “oh, it wasn’t really so bad.” Maybe you could point out exactly where anyone has said that. Otherwise, you might want to take a chill pill, because you are in violent agreement with everyone here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 No Tazers?

We have witness reports that the officers hit the decedent over the head with their batons. One witness says he heard, “Crack! Crack!”, and then realized that was the sound of the nightsticks hitting the guy in the head.

Fenderson, and a few others, are trying to argue that batons are not deadly weapons.

This issue matters under California law. It affects the (potential) charges.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 No Tazers?

actually all I saw was them saying the cops consider/categorize batons as non-lethal/less-than-lethal.

The cops…. not the law.

again – you are correct, they are correct, the cops most certainly should be corrcted in an institution of if the alleged facts are true.

out_of_the_blue says:

Police aren't even thugs anymore, but only attack dogs.

“Thugs” implies some purpose to savagery; they’re now just out for blood-lust.

Everyone should learn to RECORD AND RUN, get it up on the internet soonest, preferably have your phone set to automatically upload. The police are not looking for the truth.

And as I’ve said: Once the dogs of war were unleashed against countries that didn’t attack the US (or the UK), based on a pack of knowing lies, can’t expect those gov’ts to respect the fine points of law, but we can expect murderers trained in those wars to be hired for local police forces. More people are starting to notice now, is all.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Police aren't even thugs anymore, but only attack dogs.

“And as I’ve said”

No, actually you haven’t. Everything else you say is a slobbering pile of puke that rarely makes even the slightest bit of sense.

However, I hope this is one comment of yours that the Techdirt community doesn’t report out of hand. If they do, you’ve only got yourself to blame, because you have a deservedly crap reputation here.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re:

how ’bout a toxicology report on the piggies ? ? ?

funny how a couple states which have tried to pass laws making welfare recipients subject to drug testing, had a very FEW brave (REAL) representatives who introduced legislation that lawmakers, judges, etc had to be subjected to drug testing too…

now, THAT was going too far…

fuckers, i bet half of them are coked out of their skulls…
that would at least provide a believable explanation for half the fucked up shit they do…

testing for thee, but not for me ! ! !
hee hee hee

(who’s watching the watchers ?
why the infallible watchers, of course !
works out great for them !)

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

That’s a good step. However, do NOT, under any circumstances, mention the recording YOU are making of the beating until you can have a wee quiet chat with the local district attorney and give HIM the evidence after copying it to a flash drive and giving it to at least three different friends, none of whom knows the identities of the other two.

After that, think paranoid.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

A shod foot is a deadly weapon on a civilian but a baton is not in the hands of a cop.

Baton blows to the head may be considered deadly force.

?Jury Is Told King Was Injured In A Fall, Not By Head Blows? by Rogers Worthington, Chicago Tribune, March 31, 1993

“Head blows with a baton are deadly force, the same as using a gun. If a jury believes Powell intentionally landed head blows, it could move them to convict,” said Dan Caplis, a Denver trial lawyer and legal correspondent for several NBC affiliate stations.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re:

EXACTLY, lucy…

cops with a baton, tazer, pepper spray, 9mm, shotgun, etc = officer friendly

citizen with a cardboard protest sign = armed terrorist

cop with a camera = NOT intimidating anyone, ever

citizen with a camera = armed terrorist

cop with a judicial system and thin blue line of liars backing them up = normal, not a police state at all

citizen minding their own bidness = armed terrorist

anyone seeing a pattern here ? ? ?

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

Anonymous Coward says:

Smart moves

This call alerted law enforcement to the fact that the (alleged) beating had been recorded, triggering the intimidating roundup (and detainment) of these witnesses.

If you think you might have seen a crime?then think again. Just walk away. Keep on thinkin’ and keep on walkin’.

If you think that a police officer was doing the crime?then think different. Just walk away double-time. Keep on walkin’, and keep your head on your shoulders.

AB (profile) says:

Re: Smart moves

Always upload your evidence immediately, then delete it from your phone before contacting officials or allowing them to ‘examine’ the data (“Oops, I must not have been recording, but here’s my written testimony!”). And never ever give your name or address to the operator when reporting any crime. All they need to know is the address of the activity you are reporting; if they want to find you at least make them work for it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Smart moves

…when reporting any crime.

Dude, the other day I was driving down the freeway, and all of a sudden the cars in front of me started putting on their brakes, and swerving. When I got up to where the action was, it turned out there was a big bale of hay ?must of been nine-feet diameter!? in the middle of the right hand lane.

Did I call the cops to report the obstruction on the road?


Just kept on driving. That was the smart thing to do.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Smart moves

That’s stupid. Upload the data, sure; that way you know they can’t mess with it. But don’t delete it from your phone and lie to the officers. Otherwise you’re opening yourself up to charges of obstruction. Which will then be proven beyond ANY doubt when they find a copy of the video online or you try to use it as evidence yourself.

And try to remember that all cops are not like this.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Smart moves

‘And try to remember that all cops are not like this.’

Moot point. Any police officer that ignores or covers for such actions are just as guilty as the ones committing the crimes in the first place, as they are telling the public that they are supposed to be protecting that they flat out do not care if such things happen, and when your entire job is ‘Protecting the citizens’, then any that shirk that duty to cover for another are just as guilty as the ones committing the crime originally, and just as worthy of contempt.

AB (profile) says:

I feel sorry for the honest police officers. They already have a tough job and now they also have to work with an undeservedly bad reputation. But it is starting to look like either there are very few honest cops, or they are contributing to the problem by not standing up against the bad cops.

To any police reading this: It is plainly no longer enough to simply report problems to your superiors and expect them to deal with it. In fact it may not even be safe. Your only viable avenue is to take your reports and evidence to the public (ie. the internet) where they can be used as leverage to force your superiors into appropriate action.

And remember that even destroying the phone is not necessarily enough to destroy the evidence if a serious effort at data recovery is made.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re:

my point exactly:
there are NO ‘honest cops’ anymore…

they ALL know of their ‘buddies’ who do dishonest, illegal, immoral, against policy shit ALL THE FUCKING TIME…

but not ONE OF THEM steps up and serpicos them, do they ? ? ?
nope, that makes them ALL dishonest, ALL OF THEM…

again, turn the tables: WE can’t get away with that shit (ie pleading ignorance that some buddy did some crime), WHY SHOULD THEY ? ? ?

the answer is: because they have a badge and a gun and the full faith and credit of Empire backing them; usn’s ? ? ?
we ain’t got shit…

no one stands up for us, no one cares about us, no one even takes note of us when we are beat to death by the state’s goons…

and here’s the thing: it only makes it worse for the 1% when the top blows…

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The not standing up to bad cops part is particularly salient.

They rush to protect each other no matter how badly they’ve acted, probably cause they want someone in their corner when they have a ‘bad day’ on the job.

You know, sorta like how you don’t squeel on your cubicle buddy when he ducks out a bit early…

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

they also have to work with an undeservedly bad reputation.

I think the reputation (of the police in general) is deserved. An honest cop has effectively joined a gang. That he may be honest doesn’t mean the gang doesn’t deserve their reputation.

It is plainly no longer enough to simply report problems to your superiors and expect them to deal with it

It has never been enough.

Anonymous Coward says:

and the US police, the officers who ‘protect and serve’ think they have the right to kill someone because they are in a uniform? if that’s what they want to do, perhaps putting on a different one and shipping over to Afghanistan would make them change their minds? they would need reminding no doubt though, that over there, people really fight back!!

Anonymous Coward says:

This country is going to hell in a quick hurry and I have started to realize is going to start happening soon, whether we agree with it or not.

While police officers, highway patrol and sheriff deputies continue to violate the constitutional rights of Americans, sooner or later, something is going to give and we’re going to find Americans fighting back against law enforcement in a very violent manner.

This situation is starting to become an epidemic, and don’t get me wrong, but Americans are going to start picking up rocks, sticks, logs, baseball bats, guns or whatever they can grab and start reacting to this police brutality in a violent manner.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t advocate this but this is the future, the near future, that I see that’s going to envelop this country simply because the courts, congress, the department of justice and the Obama Administration refuses to do anything to curb the rotten behavior of law enforcement.

We’re simply heading for anarky and it’s not going to be a pretty sight.

FM Hilton (profile) says:

As I was saying: Cops vs. the rest of us

I noticed that the people that are in the middle of this war zone with the cops are poor. They probably don’t know about Dropbox, have no contacts beyond each other and possibly the 911 calls they make.

The cops know this, and take full advantage of their isolation and poverty.

After all, what’s one more dead poor person? A little time and effort, that’s all.

They get away with this far, far too often. It’s disgusting and shameful that any ‘evidence’ of wrongdoing often disappears before we know what actually happened. The autopsy report will probably be suppressed, the official report will be put under lock and key-then we’ll turn our heads and look the other way while it goes on.

The cops have power and position to enforce their version of law on anyone who doesn’t have money. This is the end result.

Rekrul says:

David Silva apparently committed a capital crime: He pissed off the cops.

What I don’t understand is why none of these people made copies of the video. Email it to yourself, of if the phone allows it, pull out the memory card, stick it in a card reader and copy it to your computer. Or hide the card somewhere, stick in a different one and tell the police that they must have erased it by accident.

If you record a video of police misconduct and you have the opportunity, copy the files or hide the memory card!

RyanNerd (profile) says:

Capitol Punishment

I thought that California had the death penalty. What I didn’t know or understand is that in Bakersfield it is applied to citizens for alleged intoxication and swiftly executed (pun intended).

Please please tell me that the person beat to death by police was black and all responding officers were white. If so I see another possible Simi Valley jury trial.

Anonymous Coward says:

Update: FBI Involved

?FBI to probe police beating after man dies?, Gulf News (LAT), May 15, 2013

Bakersfield, California: The FBI launched an investigation?

Two witnesses told the Los Angeles Times that they watched the videos on each of the phones?

The phones were flown to the FBI?s Sacramento office on Tuesday for analysis?

Youngblood said the Bakersfield Police Department found a video on one of the phones?

In interviews on Tuesday, the two witnesses insisted that the videos on both phones ? each several minutes long ? clearly captured deputies repeatedly striking Silva with batons.

?They must have gotten rid of one of the videos,? said Melissa Quair, 31?

Laura Vasquez, 26, a friend of the Quair family, said she also watched both videos ? the other shot by a friend of Melissa Quair ? and they vividly depicted the violence she witnessed.

Echoing the account of two other people The Times interviewed, Vasquez said the first two deputies at the scene woke Silva, who was sleeping in front of a house, and ordered him not to move. When Silva sat up, looking confused or scared, a deputy hit him in the head, Vasquez said.?

News Update: ? Summary

? The FBI has become involved after the Bakersfield Police Department found that only one of two phones seized had recoverable video.

? Witnesses say that they saw video on both phones before the Sheriff’s department seized those phones.

? The video is believed to be incriminating. If the account related by one of the witnesses to the LA Times is credible, then the Kern County sheriffs initiated a deadly use of force under unjustifiable circumstances.

Anonymous Coward says:

No blows captured by CHP dash cam in Kern County fatality

?No blows captured by CHP dash cam in Kern County fatality?, by Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, May 14, 2013

The dashboard camera of a California Highway Patrol cruiser recorded officers and deputies coming and going from a fatal confrontation last week in East Bakersfield, but it did not capture any blows, officials said.


With the apparent loss of video from one cellphone, that leaves only the surveillance video that has already been published, and the other cellphone video that is in the hands of the FBI now and has not yet been released.

Anonymous Coward says:

Don't believe everything you read

Don’t believe everything you read.

According to a report yesterday by Andrew O’Reilly, published by Fox News Latino, (?California Sheriff’s Department Under Investigation For Beating Death?, May 14, 2013), a Kern County Sheriff’s Department spokesman has stated that the cellphone videos have been ?handed back to the owners?.

Kern County Sgt. Damon McMinn told Fox News Latino. ?The videos were downloaded and handed back to the owners with all the information still intact.?

This statement is contradicted by many other published reports. According to other published sources, the cellphones are in the custody of the FBI, one video has been lost, and the videos may not be released without a judge’s order.

Anonymous Coward says:

Sheriff Says Baton Strikes to Head Against Policy

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said Tuesday that, with few exceptions, baton strikes to the head are not allowed as a matter of policy.


?Sheriff requests FBI inquiry into in-custody death?, by Alex Horvath, The Bakersfield Californian, May 14, 2013

With few exceptions, baton strikes to the head are not allowed as a matter of policy, he [Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood] said.

Anonymous Coward says:

Deputies Now On Paid Vacation

During the first few days after the incident, it had been reported that the sheriff’s deputies had been returned to normal duty. Now, however, the Los Angeles Times reports that those deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave.

This step seems to have been prompted by concerns over officer safety, rather than prompted by suspicions and allegations of wrongdoing.


?Sheriff says deputies at fatal Kern County beating received threats?, by Diana Marcum, Paul Pringle and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2013

The Kern County sheriff’s sergeant and six deputies at the beating of a man who died after being struck by batons have been placed on paid administrative leave, in part because they have received emailed threats, the sheriff said.


Anonymous Coward says:

Cellphones returned?

According to a report just posted an hour ago at the website of KERO Channel 23, ?Officials return cell phones with video regarding David Silva beating to witnesses? (May 15, 2013)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The two cell phones confiscated from witnesses that reportedly contained video of deputies beating David Silva were returned to the attorney of the phone owners.

The clients’ attorney, John Tello, told 23 ABC that he did have both cell phones.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Cellphones returned?

?Lawyer: Witnesses will soon release video of controversial arrest?, BakersfieldNow, May 15, 2013

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) ? Cellphones were returned Wednesday to witnesses who claim they took video of an excessively forceful arrest that ended with the suspect dying in custody.

John Tello, the attorney for the witnesses, said his clients will likely release the video for public viewing by Friday, if not sooner. The lawyer said he brought in a private investigator to examine the videos on the phone, and that he’s only seen one small piece that doesn’t show the reported beating.?.?.?.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Cellphones returned

?Authorities return cell phones to beating witnesses; attorney mum on contents?, The Bakersfield Californian, May 15, 2013

?.?.?. [Attorney for witnesses] Tello said he watched the available video this morning, and he confirmed what Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood revealed Tuesday: that one of the witnesses’ cell phones contains no video.?.?.?.

Anonymous Coward says:

Law Enforcement Day at the Sheriff?s Office Postponed

Kern County Sheriff’s Office ?? Press Release

Date: 5/15/2013 ? 10:19 AM

Subject: Law Enforcement Day at the Sheriff?s Office Postponed

Details: The Kern County Sheriff?s Office has decided to postpone Law Enforcement Day at the Sheriff?s Office.? Unfortunately due to recent events, the Sheriff?s Office felt it would be appropriate to postpone the event.?

Anonymous Coward says:

Description of cellphone video

A recent story has details on what the cellphone video shows.

?Sheriff’s Department returns cell phones to witnesses in David Silva’s death?, KGET, May 15, 2013

? Maria Melendez says she videotaped the beating of Silva at the hands of deputies last week, but when her phone was returned to her attorney, the video was apparently gone.?

A second cell phone from one of Melendez’ relatives contains three video clips of the incident, two of which are about three to four minutes in length.

“You could hear some sounds of his voice, moaning or crying out and other officers around him. It did not show any batons, but speaking to the person who took that video, he arrived a little after that and this is what he observed,” said Tello.

Tello said a second video shot by Francisco Arrieta shows deputies performing CPR on Silva.

The third video has apparently been corrupted and is only three seconds long, but shows first responders loading Silva into an ambulance.?

It appears the available cellphone video will not show any of the baton blows.

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