David Sal Silva, a 33-year-old father of four small children between the ages of 2 and 10, was beaten to death by as many as nine police officers in Bakersville, California, early Wednesday morning. Police say Silva was intoxicated and fighting officers. But this was contradicted by several eyewitnesses.
Grainy security camera footage obtained by 23ABC from a person who was “afraid of a cover-up by deputies and wanted ‘the truth to come out’”, appears to corroborate witness accounts, showing several men striking a man laying on the ground with objects over a dozen times.
The release of a 911 call from a woman who witnessed the beating (listen here) doesn’t bode well for the officers either. The woman can be heard telling the dispatcher:
“There’s a man laying on the floor and your police officers beat the shit out of him and killed him. I have it all on video camera.I am sitting here on the corner of Flower and Palm right now and you have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight Sheriffs. The guy was laying on the floor and eight Sheriff’s ran up and started beating him up with sticks. The man is dead laying right here, right now.”
Despite the hazy security footage and 911 call, police are sticking to their story. So, someone is lying. But who? Fortunately, at least two witnesses captured the beating on their cell phones. However, the devices were immediately seized by police, which is illegal in California.
Cops vs. Witnesses
Kern County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ray Pruitt says that a deputy with a canine was responding to a call from Kern Medical Facility late Tuesday night about an intoxicated man outside when he spotted and approached Silva at a nearby intersection. Pruitt claims that Silva put up a fight when the deputy attempted to take him into custody, at which point more deputies and two California Highway Patrol officers showed up to help. Silva then had trouble breathing. He was taken to Kern Medical Center and died less than an hour later.
But Witnesses tell a very different story.
Just minutes before Silva’s encounter with police, a woman, who asked not to be identified, told ABC23 that she saw Silva lying on the sidewalk seemingly unconscious. ”I seen the guy laying there. I thought something was wrong with him. Then when I saw him moving… I saw his chest moving up and down…I knew that he was just drunk and eventually he’ll wake up,” the woman said.
It’s hard to imagine that Silva was able to muster the strength to fight off several police officers just minutes after he was purportedly incapacitated.
Ruben Ceballos, 19, told The Bakersfield Californian he was at his home and in bed when he awoke around midnight to screams and loud bangs, which he soon recognized as the sound of police batons smashing into Silva’s skull. ”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,” Ceballos said. The beating continued for several minutes despite the desperate cries for help. Then Silva went silent and became unresponsive, Ceballos said.
“His body was just lying on the street and before the ambulance arrived one of the officers performed CPR on him and another one used a flashlight on his eyes but I’m sure he was already dead.”
The Sheriff’s office told the Californian that they will not comment on the case until their investigation into the matter is complete.
i believe in living.
i believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
i believe in sunshine.
In windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs;
And i believe that seeds grow into sprouts.
And sprouts grow into trees.
i believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
i believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity.
i believe in life.
And i have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting mud bodies in its path
i have seen the destruction of the daylight
and seen bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted
i have seen the kind become the blind
and the blind become the bind
in one easy lesson.
i have walked on cut grass.
i have eaten crow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference
i have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if i know anything at all,
it’s that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.
i believe in living
i believe in birth.
i believe in the sweat of love
and in the fire of truth.
And i believe that a lost ship,
steered by tired, seasick sailors,
can still be guided home to port.
i believe in living by Assata Shakur
The first time I read this, I cried like a baby. Earlier this week Assata Shakur became the first woman ever to be named on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terror List. Additionally, they’ve placed billboards to try & hunt this beautiful human down, all around New Jersey, offering $2 million dollars for her capture,
The policeman who shot down a 10-year-old in Queens
stood over the boy with his cop shoes in childish blood
and a voice said “Die you little motherfucker” and
there are tapes to prove that. At his trial
this policeman and in his own defense
“I didn’t notice the size or nothing else
only the color.” and
there are tapes to prove that, too.
Today that 37-year-old white man with 13 years of police forcing
has been set free
by 11 white men who said they were satisfied
justice had been done
and one black woman who said
“They convinced me” meaning
they had dragged her 4’10” black woman’s frame
over the hot coals of four centuries of white male approval
until she let go the first real power she ever had
and lined her own womb with cement
to make a graveyard for our children.
Audre Lorde “Power”
March 18, 2013
On Wednesday, a victim of police brutality filed a lawsuit against a Chicago police officer as well as the city of Chicago. According to Courthouse News Service, in Apr. 2011, Chicago police appeared at Rita King’s door after a domestic disturbance complaint. King was approached by a police officer with a taser, arrested and then taken to the police station. She remained handcuffed to a table while she was questioned. Then, allegedly, she refused to be fingerprinted until someone explained why she was under arrest. A police officer responded: “We know somebody who can get your fingerprints.”
In entered police commander Glenn Evans who pressed his fist into King’s nose for three to five minutes, repeatedly saying, “I’m going to push your nose through your brain.” King bled profusely, was fingerprinted and was finally released from the station. She attempted to walk home, but lost consciousness after one block. When she woke up 30 minutes later, she managed to call a friend who brought her to the hospital where it was determined she suffered a facial fracture.
Evans has faced at least five other lawsuits as a Chicago police officer in the past. According to SJ&A attorneys, in 2006, an employee of Chicago’s Water Department named Rennie Simmons knocked on Evans door to deliver a notice for an overdue bill. Evans beat up Simmons, and preceded to choke him. Evans relented only after Simmons screamed that he was a stroke patient. Simmons went back to his car, called 911 and was shocked when he was arrested, not Evans.
In 2008, a college student named Cordell Simmons was brought into the station for a drug-related arrest. When Evans felt he wasn’t cooperating with police, he had Cordell stripped and held down while he tasered his groin.
Both of these lawsuits settled before reaching trial.
Despite all this, Evans was promoted to from lieutenant to commander in August 2012.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, King states in the lawsuit that the Chicago police carry on a “code of silence” in which the officers’ loyalty to each other hinders them from revealing misconduct.
In the suit King states, “This de facto policy encourages Chicago Police officers to engage in misconduct with impunity and without fear of official consequences.”
There are no words to describe the fury I felt when reading this story.
Today was very hard… I had to choose the color of the casket that I wanted.
Carol Gray, mother of 16-year-old Kimani Gray who was shot seven times & killed by the NYPD on March 9.
His murder has sparked unrest & large protests in Flatbush, which of course have been met with mass arrests, brutality & even more violence by the NYPD. Gray’s younger sister was one of the people arrested earlier this week.
Two plainclothes police officers shot and killed a teenage boy late Saturday night on a Brooklyn street, after he pointed a handgun at the officers, the police said.
The police said the officers, patrolling in an unmarked car in East Flatbush, came upon the teenager, identified as Kimani Gray, 16, in a group of men just before 11:30 p.m. The teenager separated himself from the group and adjusted his waistband in what the police described as a suspicious manner.
As officers got out of the car to question him, Mr. Gray turned and pointed a .38-caliber Rohm revolver at them, the police said; two officers fired, hitting the teenager. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Kings County Hospital Center.
Mr. Gray did not fire the handgun, which was recovered at the scene. Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the Police Department, said the six-shot revolver was loaded with four live rounds.
“After the anti-crime sergeant and police officer told the suspect to show his hands, which was heard by witnesses, Gray produced a revolver and pointed it at the officers, who fired a total of 11 rounds, striking Gray several times,” Mr. Browne said.
Mr. Gray’s sister, Mahnefah Gray, 19, said that a witness to the shooting told her that her brother had been fixing his belt when he was shot. She, among others who knew Mr. Gray, said they had never known him to have a gun. Even if he had one on Saturday night, he would not have pointed it at police officers, Ms. Gray said.
“He has common sense,” she said.
A woman who lives across the street from the shooting scene said that after the shots were fired, she saw two men, whom she believed to be plainclothes officers, standing over Mr. Gray, who was prone on the sidewalk, clutching his stomach.
“He said, ‘Please don’t let me die,’ ” said the woman, 46, who gave her name only as Vanessa. One of the officers, she said, replied: “Stay down, or we’ll shoot you again.”
March 11, 2013
42-year-old Karen Brim, the owner of a building in the Flatbush neighborhood, was shackled to a hospital bed for 17 days after police officers allegedly fractured her leg. The NYPD officers, according to Brim, threw her to the ground and fractured her leg after she questioned the officers as to why they were there. She was charged with assault, resisting arrest and more, and her criminal case is pending. Brim, a single mother, needed multiple surgeries and plates to fix her condition, and is now suing the NYPD over the alleged brutality.
“She was hand- and ankle-cuffed to her hospital bed,” her lawyer, Marshall Bluth, told the New York Post. “They would not allow family or friends to enter. She wasn’t presented before a judicial hearing officer for 17 days. It was pretty egregious.” To enforce their rules, one NYPD officer was posted outside her hospital room. That was possible because the “24-hour standard for arraignment in criminal cases doesn’t apply when defendants are hospitalized,” the Post reports.
The alleged police abuse occurred on April 30, 2012, when four members of the NYPD chased a group of teenagers into Brim’s building as the landlord was mopping. The teenagers were arrested but the charges against them were eventually dropped. Brim says that the police immediately began to get physical, though the cops say Brim was the violent one at first, swinging a broom at one officer. But Brim disputes the police officers’ story.
“She’s mopping the common areas, as she does once every two weeks or so, and suddenly police officers descend from the roof into her building and proceed to beat her up, basically,” her lawyer told the Post. “No one really knows for sure why they did this. They basically stormed her building.”
Brim’s lawsuit “is seeking unspecified damages in her lawsuit, which accuses the officers of using ‘unnecessary and unreasonable’ force, false arrest, falsifying evidence and violating her constitutional rights,” the New York Post reports.
The officer who Brim says beat her up was named Timothy Reilly. Last year, Reilly allegedly “forcibly dragged” another Brooklyn resident out of a restaurant. The man who was dragged out, Samuel Semple, suffered injuries from Reilly’s actions. Semple sued the city and received $10,000 in January, according to the Post.