Kern County deputies beat an intoxicated man to death in the street earlier this month, then detained and intimidated witnesses, confiscated video evidence, and arrested another man who spoke out. David Silva was beaten with batons, left in a pool of blood until an ambulance finally arrived after he was already dead.
A female 9-1-1 caller named Selena told the dispatcher, “There’s a man laying on the floor, and your police officers beat the (expletive) out of him and killed him.” She said that she witnessed the victim do nothing wrong to cause 8 officers to bludgeon him to death. “These cops had no reason to do this to this man.”
A 19-year-old male witness, Ruben Ceballos, was awakened around midnight 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.” He said that Silva was on the ground screaming for help, but officers continued to beat him After several minutes, Silva stopped screaming and was no longer responsive, according to Ceballos.
Another witness, Jason Land, said that he witnessed the beating of David Silva. “They jumped out, reached for their bats, and beat that man until they killed him,” he said, “right in front of my face.” Land spoke up about what he saw and was arrested as retaliation. The witness was on probation and says police responded to his eyewitness report by claiming he was high on PCP and arrested him without any proof.
Witnesses also say that the victim’s body was left to bleed out in the street for a prolonged period without any medical attention, wasting crucial minutes before the ambulance arrived. By that point, it was too late and CPR attempts were futile.
Other witnesses, including Melissa Quair, were harassed and told that they must surrender their cell phones as “evidence.” Their houses were even searched as a crime scene in order to confiscate the video evidence.
The victim’s brother, Christopher Silva, says his brother was murdered and wants justice. He is demanding that his brother’s body be released so that he can see the result of the beating. He wants the confiscated videos to be released. “My brother spent the last eight minutes of his life pleading, begging for his life. The true evidence is in those phone witnesses that apparently the sheriff deputies already took. But I know the truth will come out and my brother’s voice will be heard.”