Kern County Coroner Declares David Silva's Death To Be 'Accidental,' Heart Disease-Related

from the nine-men,-three-batons,-one-attack-dog-all-unrelated dept

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood held a press conference last Thursday to declare his department's innocence in the death of David Silva. This claim is based on the coroner's report prepared by the Kern County Coroner's office, which reports to the Sheriff's Office. David Silva's death has been declared "accidental," with the official cause of death listed as "cardiac hypertension."

This disease can be a rather sudden killer (onset-to-death can be as little as two years), but the "contributing factors" listed on the coroner's report make no mention of the heavy physical strain put on Silva's body by the restraint efforts of nine law enforcement officers and a police dog. Here's what the report says contributed to Silva's death: "Acute intoxication, chronic alcoholism, severe abdominal obesity, chronic hypertension, acute pulmonary-cardiovascular strain." "Acute pulmonary cardiovascular strain" sounds like a naturally-occurring health event, but it's nothing more than severe strain on the heart and lungs -- something that might occur when an already out of shape person is restrained (within policy) by several men and a police dog while being intermittently beaten (within policy).

The "acute intoxication" is also questionable as Silva's BAC was .095, not much higher than the legal limit in many states (.08). Of course, the coroner's office could be folding Silva's drug intake into the "intoxication" level as he had amphetamines, methamphetamine and Klonopin in his system as well.

The autopsy almost makes it sound as if David Silva might have passed away that night, with or without receiving special attention from Kern County deputies. I suppose there's a slim chance he might have expired of natural causes while passed out on someone's doorstep, but it's much more likely that he was pushed towards an early grave by the amount of force used against him.

Sheriff Youngblood seems to feel the autopsy clears his department of any wrongdoing. This likely explains the release of the report mere days after he informed the media it could take up to a month before the toxicology work was completed.

This also explains why he went on the attack during his press conference. He blamed the media for skewing the story, playing on peoples' emotions and placing his deputies in danger. He also stated his office would no longer be releasing names of officers involved in incidents like these.

According to Youngblood, everything about Silva's "arrest" was handled in accordance with department policy. According to the Sheriff, only three deputies used batons (and then hit Silva only in approved areas -- i.e., not the head). The coroner's report mentions "signs of blunt force trauma" to the left side of Silva's head, which could possibly be explained by the kicking witnessed by onlookers. Whatever hit Silva's head (or whatever Silva's head hit), it was non-lethal -- no skull fractures or brain injury.

Because Silva failed to die from anything directly related to the beating/"hobbling" (Silva was restrained with a "hobble," or "hogtied" for all intents and purposes), Youngblood feels the responding officers did no wrong. Everything that occurred that night was compliant with policy. The closest the coroner's report comes to implicating law enforcement in Silva's death is this sentence:

Death is from the sequelae of severe chronic cardiovascular disease exacerbated by the effects of acute intoxication together with the sequelae of properly employed restraint procedures.
(How do we know the restraint procedures were properly employed? Because deputies told the coroner and investigating officers that they were. Nothing listed in the report points to improperly employed restraint or excessive force. But the question remains: if nine officers "properly employ" restraint procedures, does the combined force become "excessive?" Or is it fine as long as it's a "properly employed" nine-on-one "restraint?")

If all of this is above board, it doesn't explain the deputies' pressing need to "secure" citizens' cell phone recordings, which was performed without a warrant in one case, and in the other, took the form of a nine-hour "house arrest" to ensure the footage didn't make its way to the news before the warrant arrived.

Youngblood attacked this narrative as well, stating it was actually "only" five hours of detainment. If this is truly the case, Youngblood should release the warrant and compare it with cell phone records. Allegedly, his deputies contacted the witnesses with the cell phones they were interested in obtaining sometime between 2 and 3 am, but the warrant didn't show up until nearly noon.

He also made this disingenuous statement:
Anyone there was free to leave at any time. No one was held hostage. [One of the witnesses] just couldn’t take the phone that had the evidence. Once he gave the phone and were in the process of getting a search warrant, he left. The second [phone], we obtained a search warrant, we waited two hours and 11 minutes to get that search warrant and to seize that phone.
"Free to leave" is "free to leave." It doesn't come with strings attached.

Youngblood stated he would release all video his department has in its possession. (However, it appears the California Highway Patrol isn't interested in parting with its dash-cam footage of the incident.) As far as Sheriff Youngblood is concerned, this report, combined with the footage publicly available, clears the officers of wrongdoing. The deputies involved will be returning to work (apparently, they were still on paid administrative leave despite reports otherwise).

But it's not over yet. The District Attorney's office has announced it will be performing its own investigation and the FBI has yet to deliver its report. In addition, the attorney for David Silva's family has announced that the law firm's "experts" will be performing their own investigation as well.

The Kern County Sheriff's Office is no stranger to this sort of controversy.
The Silva episode follows several high-profile brutality cases involving the Kern County Sheriff's Office in recent years.

One led to criminal convictions of three deputies and a $6-million civil judgment in the 2005 death of a jail inmate, according to attorneys. Another resulted in a $4.5-million court award for the family of a man who died in 2010 after being struck 33 times with batons and Tasered 29 times, attorneys said.
Even if the KCSO is ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, this incident should at least prompt law enforcement officials to take a closer look at what their restraint policies allow -- and what sort of harm can actually be done to citizens while still ostensibly "following the rules." A couple of officers restraining someone using proper techniques is probably fine. But nine officers (and an attack dog) properly deploying "non-lethal" weapons and restraint can very easily turn an arrestee into a victim.



Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 3:21am

    Wow... Just wow. I'd be ashamed to vomit all that bullshit to the public. The cellphones should not have been seized in the first place but they were. Then they come back completely empty, no video, no footage, no evidence. And he wants people to believe the guy died from some cardiac issue.

    Even if it really was the case there is a lot of explaining to be done regarding the seizures and the disappearance of the footage from both cellphones. Hopefully people will get aware and start using stuff like the ACLU app (police tape was it?) to avoid evidence from "mysteriously" disappearing.

    This episode is yet another shameful stain in the recent US history. Walking in a fast pace towards totalitarianism.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 3:49am

    This is so simple.

    Let Youngblood have the "properly employed" techniques demonstrated on him, since everything occurred within dept. policy, there should be no fear of death. Right?

     

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  3.  
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    Bergman (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 4:11am

    If someone walks up to me on the street and with no justification whatsoever, punches me in the face, my response of punching the guy right back is lawful and justified.

    So I've punched him and he's lying on the ground.

    Then 8 of my friends walk over and each one of them punches him, and one of them has a dog that takes a bite as well.

    Technically none of us have gone beyond the legally justified act of self-defense I was legally able to engage in when assaulted. Any one of my friends could have legally defended me from my attacker by punching him.

    But when almost a dozen people pile on one guy and each individually takes action, that guy on the ground is going to be severely beaten if not dead. It's no different with 9 deputies and a police dog.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 4:15am

    Good work

    Everyone take six weeks of paid suspension, maybe in Hawaii.

     

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  5.  
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    Haywood (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 4:21am

    Cops being Cops

    I wish this did surprise me.

     

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    Smoked pork, May 28th, 2013 @ 4:28am

    Smoked pork

    is a dish best served cold. No surprise here, police corruption is everywhere.

     

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  7.  
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    RyanNerd (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 4:34am

    A few questions to ask

    1. Why were 9 cops and a police dog sent to restrain an overtly drunk man with a heart condition?
    2. Why were any witnessess phones taken away from them?
    3. Why did the seized phones suddenly not have any video on them?
    4. Can someone explain to me exactly why an asswhooping with batons ending with the death of a may while 9 cops and a police dog are needed on the scene is "within policy"?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 4:39am

    Re: Smoked pork

    If you consider the psychology of the policing (in the West especially), this is completely unsurprising behaviour - the law it only as strong as its weakest link. The weakest link here is a boss who is willing to ignore the laws of the land that should be applied fairly and equally.

    This only pushes people to carry weapons in Kern Cty., as the populace now know that the police are far more thuggish than the criminals.

     

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    Lucy, May 28th, 2013 @ 4:53am

    A few questions to ask

    This is exactly what I was thinking. The coroner's report is fuel on the fire. The brute force applied to a drunk man on his death bed only makes the department more wrong, if that was even possible.

    This is the good ole' boy network looking out for each other. Nothing will come out about the destruction of evidence or the hostage situation except public outrage. These cops don't give a shit if the public has hurt feelings. It won't ever effect their job duties.

    These cops aren't just corrupt, they're corrupt laughing on paid vacation.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 4:55am

    no different result to what most people expected then. now those and other officers have been given leave to beat whoever they want to death and get away with it. not only should they be locked up, just as if this same situation had happened and it was a member of the public involved, the coroner should be too. he is an insult to his profession!

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 4:58am

    One attaboy for Cushing

    Good roundup, Tim.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 5:15am

    Re:

    What a stupid argument, possibly if that person punched each of the nine people separately, but if you punch one person, they get to defend themselves, not him and 8 mates.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 5:24am

    Every man, and his dog !!!!

    it's bad, but not limited to the US, we had a guy in Australia killed after being tazered 9 or 10 times, after stealing a packet of biscuits. Cops don't give a shit about law inforcement, they just want to feel like tough guys.

    anything beyond the obvious, is simply 'too hard' and clearly not worth the effort.

    I call it the "low hanging fruit' syndrome.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 5:24am

    Re:

    Maybe

    *shades*

    he caved to pressure.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 5:31am

    Yep Tyrannical Police State.

     

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  16.  
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    The Real Michael, May 28th, 2013 @ 5:34am

    What a crock. This man was beaten to death by cops, period. If that wasn't the case then the cops wouldn't have illegally seized cell phones from the witnesses and then delete the footage. They're just covering their asses.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Howard (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 5:39am

    Re: Re:

    Wooosh...

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 5:40am

    Reminds me of what a guy who shot and killed President William McKinley said at his trial. He said he didn't kill the president by firing a bullet at him, it was the President's incompetent doctors who killed him!

    While historians did agree that President William McKinley had incompetent doctors, even measured by the standards of 1901 when he died, he still wouldn't have died if he hadn't been shot.

    Which is the same case here, even if Silva had cardiac problems before, it's extremely unlikely he would have died, or even been hospitalized, if he hadn't taken a severe beating from 9 cops.

     

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  19.  
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    Colin, May 28th, 2013 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re:

    That's a really good point. I bet Bergman didn't even think of that at all the whole time he was posting that post that you should probably read again.

     

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  20. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 6:05am

    The autopsy almost makes it sound as if David Silva might have passed away that night, with or without receiving special attention from Kern County deputies. I suppose there's a slim chance he might have expired of natural causes while passed out on someone's doorstep, but it's much more likely that he was pushed towards an early grave by the amount of force used against him.

    Oh, so it's Doctor Cushing now?

     

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  21.  
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    Jerky, May 28th, 2013 @ 6:10am

    Re: Good work

    I would vote this as funny, except that it's exactly what happens.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 6:20am

    So which of the concepts from 1984 aren't being utilized currently in the US?
    I know that Newspeak hasn't been introduced yet and while a camera in every television isn't here yet, it's soon to be with the Xbox One.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    … and then delete the footage.


    Do we really know that the alleged video ever existed on Maria Melendez's cellphone?

    On the one hand, we have the video from Francisco Arrieta's cellphone that apparently shows an image on the screen of Melendez's phone. And then we have Laura Vasquez, who has no known criminal record, who told the Los Angeles Times that she watched videos on both cellphones.
    Laura Vasquez, 26, a friend of the Quair family, said she also watched both videos -- one shot by Quair's mother, the other by Quair's friend -- and they vividly depicted the violence she witnessed.


    Then we have the police technician who attempted to download the videos onto a tablet computer before the phones were seized. We don't know whether he can or will testify that there were videos on both phones.

    And then there's attorney John Tello. We don't have the full story on what he saw at the house that morning. We don't know what he can testify to from his own personal knowledge. What he witnessed.    (And there may be thorny issues of privilege there, too. I expect Tello has his personal attorney involved now.)

    So, all-in-all, do we actually believe that this video really once existed on Maria Melendez's cellphone?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    "While historians did agree that President William McKinley had incompetent doctors, even measured by the standards of 1901 when he died, he still wouldn't have died if he hadn't been shot."

    Not being shot is scientifically proven to be a good way to increase your life expectancy. It ranks right up there with "eating healthy" and "exercising regularly".

     

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  25.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 6:25am

    Re:

    Precisely.

    If things had gone down as the 'official' story would suggest, and the death was just an accident and not at all related to the actions of the officers, the last thing they would have wanted was for the video evidence of it to 'mysteriously disappear' like it did, as video evidence of what happened would have without a doubt cleared them of wrongdoing.

    Put another way, going out of their way to keep people in their houses until they handed over the video evidence of what had happened, and then 'losing' the sections of videos showing what happened makes no sense whatsoever if you assume innocence, but perfect sense if you assume guilt.

     

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  26.  
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    Lord Binky, May 28th, 2013 @ 6:29am

    That is a downright horrible report and such a blatent lie as to be a cry for help that the coroner themself is in danger. I bet that coroner doesn't even have bruises, breaks, and fractures properly recorded so when the FBI looks over it, it all seems to fit that summary.

    Nice try on minimizing the group of policemen's influence on his death. Odd how heart disease + alchohol + beating = death, when up until the officers showed up heart disease + alchohol= drunk guy on the ground. Since the coroner claims to know exactly what properly employed restraint techniques are then they must be knowledgable enough to know that if there were any signs of blunt trauma from a baton it is not longer classified as restraint but subdueing the person with force. I'm sure when you divide the amount of force applied by 9 cops and a dog, you coincidentally get that each person and the dog applied right at the border of proper force.

    I think their theory is that if one officer can only hit a person 10 times to properly restrain them, you just get more officers when you want to hit them more.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 6:51am

    Sounds like it's time to take to the streets again.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 6:51am

    Re:

    Autopsies are generally public record in the UK. Notable exceptions include Hillsbrough and Ian Tomlinson, both of which seemed to have enforcement malfeasance.

     

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  29.  
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    Trails (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 6:55am

    Re: Smoked pork

    Sorry, but I have a huge problem with your statement.

    I smoke pork shoulders on my Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. I brine them in a apple-tweaked brine for a day, then cook for 20 hours straight over pecan chips and lump hardwood charcoal until the internal temp gets to about 195.

    It tastes much better hot.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 7:02am

    "The autopsy almost makes it sound as if David Silva might have passed away that night"

    This was predictable too. The whole autopsy was another circus, just like the forensic investigation circus.

    Remember comments like these

    " Possibly even enough evidence for a murder conviction when you add an autopsy "

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130515/18051923103/footage-lethal-beating-deleted-seized-pho ne-sheriff-asks-fbi-to-take-over-investigation.shtml

    and

    "The autopsy report seems most critical in this case when if a good job is done then they can catalogue every blow to his body, the damage caused, then what exactly killed him.

    Then they only need to try to tie up every blow with the video evidence and who did what.

    Keep in mind innocent until proven guilty."

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130521/17321623162/released-video-silva-beating-shows -his-last-moments-video-actual-beating-still-missing.shtml

    and another comment saying that when the autopsy report comes out they will match the injuries with what they see on camera. I knew that wasn't going to happen here, the whole thing is staged.



    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130515/18051923103/footage-lethal-beating-deleted- seized-phone-sheriff-asks-fbi-to-take-over-investigation.shtml

    because I do and I suspected the whole autopsy itself would be just another circus. and what do you know ...

    Like I said, I want murder convictions.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 7:04am

    errr.... I don't know how that comment got so botched.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 7:04am

    Re: Re:

    Then we have the police technician who attempted to download the videos onto a tablet computer


    For those who might have missed it earlier, a partial copy from my comment on one of the earlier Techdirt articles—

    Deputies' video confiscations come under scrutiny in fatal Bakersfield beating case”, by Steven Mayer and Jason Kotowski, The Bakersfield Californian, May 11, 2013
    The owners of the cellphones had left for home, but were called back to the apartment.

    Both witnesses agreed to return at the request of sheriff's investigators. But once they arrived they declined to turn over their cellphones, absent a search warrant.

    John Tello, a criminal law attorney representing [—when this story was published: May 11—] the two witnesses who shot video footage and other witnesses to the incident, said the witnesses were not allowed to leave with their phones.

    The witnesses allowed a police technician to try to download the videos onto a tablet computer, but the effort was unsuccessful, Tello said.

    (Emphasis added.)

     

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  33.  
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    Trails (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 7:06am

    Re:

    There's a notion in law of assuming responsibility for pre-existing conditions.

    Consider a case where someone steals a car with faulty breaks, runs a red light when they fail and kills someone. The car thief will be charged with the death, even if it was an "accident" in the narrow sense.

    Consider another case of someone with a skull defect. Someone else gets annoyed at them, knocks them on the head, kills them. That's not murder (i.e. no intent), but it sure as hell is manslaughter.

    When you take illegal actions, you assume responsibility for pre-existing conditions and are responsible for outcomes.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 7:07am

    Re:

    Delete everything after the second link and before "I suspected the whole autopsy itself would be just another circus"

     

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  35.  
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    The Real Michael, May 28th, 2013 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re:

    If anything, cops should be model citizens, people to look up to. In Kern County, however, not only are they murderers but shamelessly eliminate any shred of incriminating evidence, abusing their position of authority. They're nothing more than criminals hiding behind badges. Will the people that live in Kern County take a stand and demand justice?

     

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  36.  
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    Rekrul, May 28th, 2013 @ 7:27am

    The autopsy report was released, but did it include photos of his body?

    I suspect not, and I suspect that the body will sent directly to a funeral home where it will covered in makeup to make him appear normal (as normal as a corpse can look) before the family is allowed to see him.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re:

    It's also amazing how cops are quick to provide their own video evidence whenever it absolves them of guilt but if it could potentially incriminate the officer no police video evidence is present (or sections are cut out).

     

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  38.  
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    Violated (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 7:41am

    Suspect

    I would hope that the family of the deceased now seek an independent autopsy to validate or to reject these findings.

    One aspect that does concern me is that in one earlier news story said one relative that visited the deceased stated that his nose had been broken. While he is not a medical expert no nose damage was stated in this report.

    Also it is not just a question of if he had some heart disease but if the Police Officers involved used the correct measure of force to restrain him. Every degree of violence beyond that is one step closer to killing him.

    Finally deleting evidence is a separate crime that should get the people responsible fired.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 7:43am

    Re: A few questions to ask

    Can someone explain to me why the cops didn't provide their own video evidence of the event?

    In Russia even many normal citizens have car cameras attached to their cars. You mean to tell me with nine police officers and all the money we waste, I mean, spend on law enforcement and red light cameras and going after parking violators and minor things we couldn't even manage to have a few cameras recording this event?

     

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  40.  
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    Violated (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 7:45am

    Re:

    Nice to always read what I wrote in other people's comments.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 7:47am

    Re: Suspect

    Well, before that even. Illegally taking the cameras and subsequently being unable to provide evidence (video footage) proving their innocence (the cops could have brought their own cameras but they failed) should presume guilt.

    The cops are the suspects here, the (alleged) evidence should have never been allowed to get into their hands in the first place.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    and if the cops so desperately needed the evidence why didn't they provide their own cameras?

    See, this whole thing is framed wrong. The cops should have had their own cameras recording the event providing them with evidence. Nine cops and no evidence.

    They are law enforcement and part of their job could involve collecting evidence being that evidence is often the basis of enforcing laws. Yet they failed to do their jobs as police officers and to collect the necessary evidence to prove their case. How convenient.

    During events and confrontations like this cops should be required, by law, to provide their own evidence and record the event ahead of time. If they don't and someone gets hurt or killed and the cops can't prove their innocence then they should face severe disciplinary action or perhaps be presumed guilty.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's amazing how cops selectively record and release video footage when it's in their favor but whenever video footage makes them look bad it's nowhere to be found.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re:

    Nice to always read what I wrote in other people's comments.

    “Keep in mind innocent until proven guilty.”

    Yeah, I seem to recall you saying that.

     

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  45.  
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    Michael, May 28th, 2013 @ 8:01am

    Re: A few questions to ask

    1. Why were 9 cops and a police dog sent to restrain an overtly drunk man with a heart condition?

    Was he perhaps drinking West 6th Brewing beer?

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 8:03am

    Well under threat of nine men, three batons, and one attack dog you can bet your ass I would declare it accidental heart disease as well.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 8:07am

    Re: Suspect

    …in one earlier news story said one relative that visited the deceased stated that his nose had been broken…


    Many unanswered questions about David Silva's death”, KGET, May 13, 2013
    Silva's uncle described what he saw after seeing his nephew's body at the coroner's office. "Bruised up face, chin, ear, busted lip, broken nose, black eye, all marks all over his face," he explained.

    Just checked KGET again, and while that story was updated May 23, 2013, that article does really still say, “broken nose”.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re:

    …video evidence of it to 'mysteriously disappear'…


    Did you ever work doing technical support? Or do you know anyone who ever worked at a help desk?

    You know that when one of your documents or videos “mysteriously dissappears”, the people working the hell desk are not necessarily going assume that the smoke-breathing demons inside your device got all riled up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ....All the way to the end of the post this time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 9:05am

    Self-Defense

    So if we are approached by a Kern County Deputy, can we shoot him in self-defense?

    Seems like an even trade for this incident.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 9:30am

    Re: A few questions to ask

    1. Why were 9 cops and a police dog sent


    You watched the video of Sheriff Youngblood's press conference didn't you? First link in Cushing's article up top.

    Kern County says heart disease, not beating, caused man's death”, By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, May 23, 2013
    Youngblood said the first deputy to arrive found Silva lying on the ground and gave him a knuckle rub on the chest to try to wake him up.

    According to the sheriff: Silva got up on his knees and then fell over on his face. When the deputy tried to help him up, Silva "took a rigid stance." The deputy warned Silva he would release a police dog on him if he did not cooperate. When Silva continued to resist, the deputy remotely released the dog from his cruiser. The dog bit Silva several times and bit the handler deputy as well, Youngblood said. Silva grabbed the dog by the throat.

    More deputies arrived, and the struggle continued, the sheriff said, with officers eventually "hobbling" him by tying his ankles and wrists.


    According to the Sheriff's story, in response to the call from the hospital security guard, they initially sent one deputy with a K9. Things went from there, and more deputies responded to the scene.

    That account seems to be —at least partially— corroborated by the black-and-white surveillance video that we've seen.

    And it's pretty typical for police to call for backup when they encounter resistance.

     

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  53.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Suspect

    Yes then read the above...

    "According to the Sheriff, only three deputies used batons (and then hit Silva only in approved areas -- i.e., not the head). The coroner's report mentions "signs of blunt force trauma" to the left side of Silva's head, which could possibly be explained by the kicking witnessed by onlookers. Whatever hit Silva's head (or whatever Silva's head hit), it was non-lethal -- no skull fractures or brain injury."

    Clearly there is a huge discrepancy between family member observation shortly after his death and the coroner's autopsy report that clearly highlights that one of these two parties was lying.

    Should that be the coroner then an independent autopsy is extremely advisable.

     

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  54.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Smoked pork

    Yum!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    DOlz (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Good work

    Which is why we need a "Sad but True" button.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Re: "Doctor Cushing"

    "The autopsy almost makes it sound as if David Silva might have passed away that night, with or without receiving special attention from Kern County deputies."
    I'll take "Statements of Opinion" for $200, Alex.

    Answer: Anonymous Coward (May 28th, 2013 @ 6:05am)
    Question: What is an AssHat?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Suspect

    … an independent autopsy is extremely advisable.

    Worst thing, of course, is four young girls just lost their dad —even if their mom did kick the man out— 'cause when the meter starts running on doctors and suchlike, the bills can start coming in awful steep, awful quick.

    No guarantee anyone's family is ever going to see any money coming back after spending it on doctors for a dead man. No guarantee at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Suspect

    … four young girls…


    Guess I might have to correct myself, “Eli” sounds like a boy's name to me.

    David Sal Silva (1980 - 2013)
    Obituary

    …survived by his four children: Makayla, Catelyn, Chelsea and Eli.…


    Four young kids, anyhow.

     

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  59.  
    icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 11:25am

    Everyone who believes that the Coroner's report is based on fact, raise your hand.

    I thought so.

    Nobody believes this piece of bullshit trickery perpetrated by the Coroner's office who is more linked to the police department and the prosecutor's office than they are to an independent and unbiased organization.

    This report is nothing more than a farce designed to "officially" let the police department off the hook by explaining this man's lifestyle for what they refer to as "being drunk" as an explanation for calling the man an alcoholic.

    This Coroner's report is a sham and should be called out for what it is. Now, how much you want to bet that Kern County is going to hold this up as a justification for beating this man to death and how they're going to explain that the nine police officers who used excessive force and beat this man to a pulp with police batons weren't responsible for him dying.

    These are the same cops who would blame the doctor's for someone's death after a police car had ran a red light and killed a two year old with their police cruiser. (This never happened but it's this kind of philosophy that Kern County police are hoping that we believe).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    Trails (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: A few questions to ask

    No, but he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express the previous night...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    Trails (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re:

    Nice to always read what I wrote in other people's comments.

    - Trails, Intelligent Comments Made By ME and Not That Biter "Violated", HarperCollins, 2009

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    all those witnesses and only two cameras rolling?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 12:32pm

    Medical Examiner vs Coroner

    Medical Examiner: Trained professional following legislative statues

    Coroner: Fly by the seat of the pants (failed)Doctor

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/post-mortem/things-to-know/how-qualified-i s-your-coroner.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    Re:

    all those witnesses and only two cameras rolling?


    The number that I've seen reported has been six eyewitnesses at the scene (although I'm not entirely sure that number six is exactly correct). Six people and only two camera phones?

    Then, too, there is the surveillance video from the house, even though what it shows is hard to make out. And there's the CHP dashcam video, which hasn't yet been released and may or may not show anything of interest.

    And, finally, there's more security camera video from Kern Medical Center and the Mary K Shell Center.

    So more than two cameras rolling. But you mean six or seven eyewitnesses and only two cellphone cameras?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    Jalek (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 2:19pm

    He seemed to leave out of this narrative that the guy was unconscious on the ground and to wake him up they "rubbed their knuckles on his chest" before setting the dog on him.

    Doesn't sound like the desperate struggle of 9 deputies trying to restrain one man before he could harm them, even in the official narrative.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 2:43pm

    Re:

    desperate struggle of 9 deputies trying to restrain one man


    I'm not sure who it is you're saying left exactly what out of the narrative.

    District Attorney to review David Silva case”, KGET, May 24, 2013
    At a news conference Thursday, Sheriff Youngblood said Silva put up a violent struggle the night he died. "One of the Highway Patrol officers in this case has been on 12 1/2 years and he said this is one of the most violent resisting arrests he has seen," noted Youngblood.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    drew freyman, May 28th, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    victim's disease does not preclude murder charge

    I believe the legal doctrine is that you take your victim as you find him. For example, let's assume some kids were throwing from a bridge and one hit the roof of a passing car. The elderly driver then dies from a heart attack precipitated from the shock of the rock hit. These kids could be held legally responsible for the death. Why should this situation be any different? If not but for the police officers' action the victim would still be with us today.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2013 @ 4:02pm

    Re: victim's disease does not preclude murder charge

    Why should this situation be any different?


    Hold up a minute, there.

    First, what exactly are the unlawful act(s) that you allege the officers committed? Start with the very first thing: Are you alleging that the “knuckle rub” was unlawful?

    Second, do you think you can prove it to a Kern County jury? If you're saying “murder”, then all of the elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), May 28th, 2013 @ 7:05pm

    Re: Re:

    One of the Highway Patrol officers in this case has been on 12 1/2 years and he said this is one of the most violent resisting arrests he has seen," noted Youngblood.

    Yeah, I'd say that sort of thing too if I'd spent the night helping eight other officers restrain someone right into an autopsy.

    This one will be the "most violent resistance" up until someone surpasses it by dying even harder.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    drop dead di, May 29th, 2013 @ 1:08am

    unbelievable

    Really only 69 comments most of which comes from just a handful of people I might more people would be outraged enough to post.too bad.so sad nobody cares.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    drop dead di, May 29th, 2013 @ 1:08am

    unbelievable

    Really only 69 comments most of which comes from just a handful of people I might more people would be outraged enough to post.too bad.so sad nobody cares.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    drop dead di, May 29th, 2013 @ 1:08am

    unbelievable

    Really only 69 comments most of which comes from just a handful of people I might more people would be outraged enough to post.too bad.so sad nobody cares.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2013 @ 3:49am

    Re:

    Nobody believes this piece of bullshit trickery perpetrated by the Coroner's office…


    You know, a fair passel of other folks probably seen the body while it was still warm. There's the EMS technicians in the ambulance crew. And I believe they took Silva to Kern Medical Center, but where ever it was they took him, there's ER doctors and nurses.

    You think those folks would have noticed a bashed-in skull?

    And do you think they'd keep quiet about it if they had? I mean, after the coroner says there's not even any sign of a broken nose?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, May 29th, 2013 @ 4:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, kind of like how Hollywood studios and game publishers will open shell companies during a movie or game's development in order to fleece the state, rather than having to pay themselves for their own projects, then close them down after completion to prevent an audit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, May 29th, 2013 @ 4:39am

    Re:

    Worse still, people are actually pre-purchasing it. I guess people don't mind sacrificing their property, not to mention the right to sell a product they own without Microsoft's permission. Big brother is here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Dave, May 29th, 2013 @ 10:54am

    Re:

    I think it's called a common sense conclusion by looking at all the facts. Do you understand?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2013 @ 11:39am

    Bloodstains on the sidewalk

    Days after David Silva's death, media outlets were still reporting bloodstains visible on the sidewalk.


    Silva family searching for answers over son's death”, KERO 23ABC News, May 13, 2013
    “David’s last breathed ended at that corner and where the blood stains are, it ended where’s those blows, being picked up, smashed on the ground, picked up, smashed on the ground, hit, beat, beat, beat, I can count over 20 swings,” said [brother Chris] Silva.


    Defenseless Man Beaten To Death By Cops, Witnesses Said”, by Michelle Macaluso, Fox News Latino, May 16, 2013
    Next to the memorial, blood stains are still visible on the sidewalk, remnants from what witnesses said was a deadly beating law enforcement officers gave the 33-year-old father of four.


    Did the autopsy report that David Silva bled out?

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2013 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Bloodstains on the sidewalk

    Days after David Silva's death, media outlets were still reporting bloodstains visible on the sidewalk.


    There's a photo attached to the Los Angeles Times story, “Friends, family mourn Kern beating victim at Bakersfield service” (by Diana Marcum, May 16, 2013). The photo is credited to Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times, May 14, 2013. This photo shows the corner of corner of Flower and Palm streets in East Bakersfield.

    While those dark spots in the grass do indeed look like they could be blood stains, there's actually not a tremendous amount visible.

    I'm no doctor, but one thing I know about head wounds —even fairly superficial ones— is that they usually bleed like heck.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2013 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    This one will be the "most violent resistance" up until someone surpasses it by dying even harder.


    Man dies after struggle with Kern County deputies, CHP officers”, by Carol Ferguson, Eyewitness News / BakersfieldNow, May 8, 2013
    … A man who only wanted to give his first name, said he lives near the corner where the incident happened, and he also saw it. "There were at least two of them using their batons on him," Danny told Eyewitness News. "They were just sitting on him. And the guys. they were holding him down and punching him, too."…

    …"From what we saw, I would have to say that it did seem like it was a bit (of) excessive force used." Danny said. The neighbor says he was about 30 feet away, and saw the position of the suspect on the ground, the use of batons, and the number of officers.

    "It just seemed unlikely he was much of a threat," he said.…


    ( Incidentally, this “Danny”, last name unknown, may or may not be counted among the six witnesses number I've seen reported elsewhere. )

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2013 @ 2:38am

    View from Kern County

    Yesterday, the Californian printed a letter to the editor by a woman from Bakersfield—who simply can't believe that the coroner's report is anything less than the absolute, gospel truth.

    No.    This woman might have heard of “testilying”, but she don't believe in it.


    Letters to the Editor: They simply answer the call”, by Irene Edmonds (Bakersfield), The Bakersfield Californian, May 29, 2013
    …Suggesting that the Kern County coroner would alter evidence to support the sheriff's deputies in the David Sal Silva case is sick. Law enforcement does not work that way, no matter what those who wish to smear the police say.…

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2013 @ 5:07am

    Cremation

    The attorney for the Silva family, David Cohn, says that the remains of David Silva have been cremated. A reexamination of the body is impossible.

    Autopsy answers many -- but not all -- questions about Silva's death”, by Steven Mayer, The Bakersfield Californian, Jun 1, 2013
    … David Cohn, the attorney for the Silva family, expressed skepticism about the autopsy findings.

    The day the autopsy results were released, Cohn told The Californian he would ask an independent expert to examine the report. But an independent autopsy is impossible, he noted, as Silva's remains have been cremated.…

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    Another witness

    The Californian has reported that Sally Dorset, 61, is another witness to the use-of-force which resulted in the death of David Silva.

    I don't recall running across Ms. Dorset's name before, in any previous reports.


    Timeline surrounding David Sal Silva's death”, by Mike Fagans, The Bakersfield Californian, Jun 1, 2013
    Also at about midnight:  . . . .

    Sally Dorset, 61, is awakened by yelling outside and out a window sees a sheriff’s car outside, she says. She opens the front door and sees a man on the ground and a deputy yelling at him to stay down and beating him with a baton.

    A couple minutes later, more deputies arrive and they all start hitting the man on the floor. The man is yelling and moaning in pain, but the blows to his body continue. Suddenly, the man gets quiet and Dorset thinks, “I hope he is not dead.”

     

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  83.  
    icon
    dada80 (profile), Jun 6th, 2013 @ 11:28pm

    WoW! Wow! and Wow! however saw the pic of this guy in the ambulance knows police are saying a bloody childish lie! they blow out his face, he looked like a monster because all the cuts, huge black eyes, and blood, i bet they blow out his internal organs as well then destroy the evidence and treated the witnesses...you won't believe this is happening in USA but in a very corrupted country, but it's happening here, for-years!

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2013 @ 5:38pm

    Asphyxiation suspected

    According to the Silva family attorney, David Cohn, they are having another pathogist examing tissue samples. He adds that they suspect asphyxiation was the cause of David Silva's death.


    Silva family supporters rally on eve of legal action”, by Christine Bedell, The Bakersfield Californian, June 8, 2013
    … Cohn also confirmed something Silva's father told the newspaper at Saturday's rally outside the Sheriff's Office headquarters on Norris Road -- that Cohn is having a pathologist examine tissue samples from Silva's body to learn more about the death.

    Cohn said he's "pretty convinced this was an asphyxiation death" -- meaning Silva died when vital organs were deprived of oxygen -- after deputies and officers used a hogtie-like device called a "hobble" on him to stop him from kicking them.

    The tissue samples might shed light on that, Cohn said.…

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Tara, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 12:23am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on May 28th, 2013 @ 7:02am

    There is a petition for dismissal and prosacution im hes wife I signed it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Tim Spencer, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:03pm

    Wow.

    Everyone of those police need to be in jail on charges of 1st & 2nd degree murder. The coroner needs to be charged with obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting known felons. Anyone handling the cell phones where the video was erased, also charged with obstruction of justice, interfering with a criminal investigation, tampering with evidence, etc. CLEAN HOUSE in that community!!!!! This is the kind of reason the citizens of a country should not be disarmed of their guns. I would have been completely okay with a mob of gun owners rolling into that police dept with guns, shooting all cops who resisted and cuffing/demanding to the country that Federal agents arrest and charge these corrupt public officials with high crimes.

    Something has GOT to be done about these crimes and cover-ups folks. We as citizens cannot let things like this stand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:14pm

    Silva family file federal lawsuit

    The family of David Silva has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit.


    KERO 23ABC News provides links to several documents in connection with the complaint.

    Family of David Silva files lawsuit”, KERO 23ABC News, June 14, 2013


    Other Bakersfield / Kern County media have stories, also.

    Sheriff's office, Kern County face legal claim for in-custody death, Bakersfield Now, June 14, 2013

    Silva family files federal claim”, by Courtenay Edelhart, The Bakersfield Californian, June 14, 2013

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Silva family file federal lawsuit

    The family of David Silva has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit.

    THAT MAY NOT BE CORRECT.

    Instead, reading through the documents provided by KERO 23ABC News, I'm seeing "Claims For Wrongful Death Damages" against Kern County and the State of California, both dated June 14. Those would be prepatory to a lawsuit, but those claims do not look to me like a complaint filed in federal court.

    Curiously enough, I had been under the impression that David Silva's family had filed their claims some time ago. That impression may have been mistaken.

    KERO 23ABC News also provides the text of a press release from the attorneys for David Silva's family. That press release, dated today, June 14, is headlined “Chain, Cohn, Stiles Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Family of David Silva”.

    Right now, I'm not sure exactly where things are, procedurally.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:55pm

    CORRECTION: Silva family file claim [was Re: Silva family file federal lawsuit]

    CORRECTION: The family of David Silva has filed a wrongful death claim against Kern County, and the State of California.

    The Bakersfield Californian, in a story by Courteny Edelhart, writes:
    … Attorney David Cohn held a news conference Friday morning saying he had filed a claim on behalf of Silva’s four young children, his girlfriend, his parents and his brother, and that the cause of death was “excessive force used by nine law enforcement officials who repeatedly struck him with batons and hog-tied him despite his numerous cries for help.”

    Cohn said that he hoped the filing of the claim — which is a required step before filing a lawsuit — would serve as a catalyst for serious change among local law enforcement agencies.

    Government agencies often deny such claims, after which time plaintiffs then file their lawsuit.…

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    Anon, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:19am

    I'm sorry but if any normal person looked at the mans body, even if they knew he had a heart disease. They'd see the bruises and blood. Please explain to me, why a 'drunk' man needs to be beaten to the extent that he dies?

    You can call it accidental all you want. But taking a baton to someone and beating them obviously isn't. Seems to me like they all need a taste of their own fucking medicine.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    Mercedez, Jul 3rd, 2013 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re:

    Ok so say Maria, Laura and Francisco really didn't have the footage on their phone or saw anything at all, then why were the Police at their house waiting on a search warrant. Isn't it correct if I am not mistaken, upon reaching someone's home you are suppose to already have the SW and not be waiting on it. It doesn't matter if they waited 11minutes or had them under house arrest for how ever long, you are suppose to already have the warrant in hand as they open the door. So then if they didn't have a video, why was the police there asking for the cell phones as evidence? That is the question you should have asked. Not argue that they might not actually have a footage. A man is dead for what, the said people who are suppose to be protecting and serving are killing innocent people wow. What else there is to come

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    james robson, Sep 27th, 2013 @ 1:54am

    The peeps should of uploaded to face and tube straight away that would of fucked those pigs let's see em try and get a search warrant for the net! Fuckers!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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