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David Sal Silva Death: Police Under Scrutiny For Taking Cell Phone Videos From Witnesses

David Sal Silva Death: Police Under Scrutiny Taking Cell Phone Videos From Witnesses

After David Sal Silva died at the hands of police in Bakersfield, California, this week, officers reportedly went to the homes of witnesses and demanded they turn over cell phones that had recorded footage of his beating.

Witnesses to the incident say police bullied and badgered them into giving up the footage they had taken of the incident, raising concerns among local civil rights activists.

Those witnesses said David Sal Silva died “begging for his life” as he struggled with as many as nine police officers.

The 33-year-old father of four died early Wednesday after officers responding to a report of an intoxicated man. Deputies say David Sal Silva fought with them and with California Highway Patrol officers, leading them to deploy a canine and use batons to subdue him. Silva had trouble breathing and was taken to a hospital, where he died.

But witnesses saw the incident differently. Many claimed that police continued to beat Silva with batons as he pleaded for help.

“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,” said Ruben Ceballos, a neighbor who was awakened by the sound of screaming.

A 911 call released by KERO television relayed the same scene that Ceballos saw.

The 911 call shows witness Sulina Quair saying, “There is a man laying on the floor and your police officers beat the (expletive) out of him and killed him. I have it all on video camera. We videotaped the whole thing.”

This week the police are coming under scrutiny for how they responded to these witnesses. Civil rights activists claim that police violated their Fourth Amendment rights with intrusive searches for the footage they took of David Sal Silva’s death. Reports said that sheriff’s deputies knocked on the door of two witnesses at around 3 am on Wednesday demanding their cellphones.

The witnesses had already left the scene, but police went to their apartment to ask for their phones. Both refused to turn them over without a search warrant.

John Tello, a criminal law attorney representing the two witnesses who shot video footage and other witnesses to Silva’s death, said police would not let the two leave the apartment.

A male witness eventually gave up his phone “under duress” when he had to leave for work, but the female witness held out until close to noon, when police finally obtained a warrant.

“They were tired, scared, with a 9-year-old child there who was terrified,” Tello said.

Police had said they would not comment on the David Sal Silva case until an investigation was completed.

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Comments

19 Responses to “David Sal Silva Death: Police Under Scrutiny For Taking Cell Phone Videos From Witnesses”

  1. Mack W Jackson

    Those officers and everyone in their chain of command up to the final person with hiring authority needs to be fired. NOT PUT ON LEAVE WITH PAY BUT FIRED.

  2. Lasivian Leandros

    I think it's critical that anytime pictures or video that might badly display police are taken that they be uploaded and disseminated ASAP. If this video had already been emailed or uploaded the police could have taken the phone and gotten nothing. Also I would definitely have videotaped the police violating my 4th amendment rights if they had barged into my residence.

  3. Ryan Jones

    Yea that whole pd needs to get fired, I'm going to guess this isn't the first time, abuse of power has happened.

  4. Joe Fiumara

    This is government on a smaller level but still government. California is one of the states that want to disarm the general public. And they wonder why people want to cling to their guns like mad.

  5. Lisa Westberry

    that's just sad, where's the news coverage and riots at?

  6. Vfr Threethousand

    Fkn animals – find every one of those and beat them to death.
    They even tried to COVER it up – they know the MURDERED This guy.

    POST the video -EDIT its already up on two sites..
    The cops are fkd.

  7. Vfr Threethousand

    It did not matter WHAT this guy HAD done.
    IF you are under arrest with nine so called 'officer's of the law' its NOT their job to EXECUTE you with batons.

    Now the vid is out they are EX pigs and will get locked up for 1st degree, lets see how they get out of that.

  8. Vfr Threethousand

    The 'normal people' want to come to the rescue in situations like this – and use absolute total deadly force against the very people employed to protect you.

    Like a pack of dogs.

  9. Sam Berninger

    The "male" resident of the apartment should not have given up his phone just because he had to go to work. The police had no legal authority to prevent him from leaving his apartment so he should have left and when they attempted to arrest him for leaving he should have gotten a lawyer and sued their asses for millions. That's the only way these law enforcement agencies are going to learn is if people start standing up to their abuse. We're hearing about too many incidents like this as time goes on and if people don't start enforcing their rights we're going to lose them.

  10. Ben Gehring

    These cops won't get anything done to them that matters. A couple weeks paid leave, that's all. If people complain too much they might get fired. FIRED FOR MURDER? They should face the death penalty and the cops that held the witnesses hostage should be charged as well. It won't happen. The people in California don't care enough to riot for a poor white guy.

  11. Darío Alvarez

    Easy to say from your chair.

    Next time you try to "enforce your rights" in front a bunch of excited armed guys who you just saw MURDERED A MAN, let us know.

  12. Omar Ramos

    I'd like to see the Kern County cops (or any other division from any other state) try to take my cellphone after I record them doing something so fucked up. fucking assholes.

  13. Jennifer Lundeby

    Fired hell, they need to be in JAIL but then we just don't send cops to jail do we? Assault, murder, they get payed leave.

  14. Anonymous

    So by your logic, you'll allow law enforcement to intimidate & bully you, and violate your rights because you are afraid?? Of course it's easy to say from his chair, my chair, ANY chair! We're the voices that bring about change if we're loud enough, doesn't matter what piece of furniture we're on. The difference between people like myself (and Sam), as opposed to you, is that we not only value our rights and freedoms, but stand up for them firmly, and aren't afraid to voice that. Your entire statement, "Next time you try to "enforce your rights" in front a bunch of excited armed guys who you just saw MURDERED A MAN, let us know", is the perfect example of fear-mongering done right. You're terrified, and they like it that way. Best of luck with that.