FBI Investigating Deadly Police Brutality And Possible Cover Up In California

David Sal Silva and his daughters; image@LATimes

Last Wednesday, in Bakersfield California, a 911 caller claimed a man had been brutally beaten to death on the street by eight police officers. The man, who died that night, was father of four, David Sal Silva, 33. Two witnesses claimed to have taken videos of the beating on their cell phones. Police showed up at their homes a few hours after the incident to confiscate their phones. The witnesses eventually turned over their evidence.

Now it’s reported that one of the confiscated cell phones has missing footage. Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood requested the FBI to investigate the preliminary results of the Bakersfield Police Department’s analysis of the phones. The analysis confirmed the existence of video footage related to this incident on one phone, but no video footage on the second phone. This is what prompted Youngblood’s subsequent request for further FBI analysis.

This is not the first time a Kern County Sheriff’s office has been under scrutiny for a high-profile police brutality case. Attorney’s said In 2005 three deputies were convicted for the death of a jail inmate resulting in a $6-million civil judgment . Then, in 2010, the family of a man who died after being struck 33 times with batons and tasered 29 times, was awarded $4.5 million.

One of the deputies accused in the civil lawsuit over the 2010 death has the same name as one of those who confronted Silva. Sheriff Youngblood would not confirm that it was the same deputy.

As of Tuesday, all of the police officers accused of being involved in the beating were still on duty.

The Life Leaks video below was allegedly taken from an on-site security camera. Though hard to see, one can get an idea of the horrific brutality of the beating. It’s reported there were 19 blows to Silva and, while hogtied, he was picked up and dropped twice. Reports say Silva may have been intoxicated and resisting officers, but that is still unknown, as is the actual cause of his death.

Here is the video:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb3wuvbl4kc?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

The story slowly began spreading throughout social media Saturday night via a Facebook photo of David Silva that appeared in some news feeds. When it appeared in my newsfeed, I followed the links, and discovered only a handful of local news groups were covering the story. AddictingInfo.org and Daily Kos, along with other progressive online newsgroups picked up the story Sunday morning; it’s now national mainstream media news.

Here is a recap from Sunday morning’s story:

“He asked for help. He was yelling for help. He was begging for help. No one came cause the people that were supposes to help him were the ones killing him,” said Christopher Silva, the victim’s brother.

Photo: Christopher Silva (Victim's Brother)

Screenshot of Christopher Silva (victim’s brother)

The 911 call:

“You have 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 sheriffs. The guy was laying on the floor and 8 sheriffs ran up and started beating him up with sticks. The man is dead right here right now. I got everything on video tape. This man was doing nothing. These cops had no reason to do this to this man.”

A few hours after, the police showed up at the homes of two witness, to confiscate cell phone videos of the incident. One witness, Melissa Quair, said:

“We told him we weren’t going to give them our phone, and they told us that is was evidence, and pretty much my house was a crime scene because we had the evidence.” They eventually got a search warrant and confiscated the phone. She wants the phone and video back. Quair wants it to be available, and she told that to the officers.

Screenshot: Melissa Quair - Eyewitness

Screenshot: Melissa Quair – Eyewitness

Jason Land, another witness at the scene, described what he saw:

“Animals. That’s what they portrayed to be to me, because that’s what they acted like. The just out reached for their…bats, poles, whatever you wanna to call it – beat that man ’til they killed him.

Screenshot: Jason Land

Screenshot: Jason Land – eyewitness

The KBAK news video below contains the 911 Call: Land who called Eyewitness News KBAK, said he spoke up about what he saw and was arrested, he believes in retaliation. Jason Land was on probation and says police responded to his eyewitness report by claiming he was high on PCP and arrested, him without any proof.

Here is the video:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uyd_NldNSiM?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Given the incredibly tragic way David Silva died, and the alleged cover-up, this story will most likely be in the news for a while..

(The author, Leslie Salzillo, is an activist, political commentator, diarist and visual artist. Salzillo often writes diaries in Daily Kos, and began contributing to AddictingInfo.org in March 2013)