Thursday, May 16, 2013 3:45
It’s beginning to look like Kern County sheriff deputies not only confiscated phones from witnesses who recorded them beating a man to death last week. It appears they also deleted footage from one of the phones.
by Carlos Miller
But rather than circle the wagons as we normally see in these situations, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood has brought the FBI in to investigate.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
BAKERSFIELD — The FBI launched an investigation Tuesday into the death of a man who was beaten by authorities amid questions over whether officials tampered with cellphone videos confiscated from witnesses.
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said he asked the FBI to get involved after learning that one of two phones seized from witnesses had no footage on it.
Two witnesses told The Times that they watched the videos on each of the phones last week in the wake of David Silva’s death. The case is generating widespread attention because several witnesses have come forward to say deputies ruthlessly beat Silva with batons on the head, even after he was motionless on the ground.
“Our credibility is at stake here,” Youngblood said in an interview. He did not dispute the witnesses’ accounts about the videos but said he would not draw any conclusions until the investigations were complete.
The FBI will also be investigating whether the sergeant and six deputies involved in the beating acted criminally in the beating death of 33-year-old David Sal Silva, a father of four, whose crime, at worse, may have been that he passed out drunk in front of somebody’s house after being refused care at a hospital across the street.
Several witness accounts indicate the deputies not only beat a non-resisting man to death, they tried their best to prevent citizens from recording.