Officers Involved in Silva Beating Yet to Be Placed on Leave

The story of the alleged beating death of David Sal Silve by Kern County deputies last week in Bakersfield has begun to gain more national attention. The Associated Press has published an article and CNN has filed a report.

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Screen Grab from local media report shows David Sal Silva

Here is what CNN reported today.

Additional details from the story have begun to emerge, including a local report from The Californian saying that the officers involved in the incident have not been placed on leave. The story explains:

When sheriff’s deputies participate in an officer-involved shooting, they are automatically placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation into whether the shooting was within policy.

Now the Kern County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an administrative investigation into last week’s death of 33-year-old David Sal Silva.

But the seven deputies involved have not been placed on paid administrative leave.

Officials of the department wouldn’t explain why.

“We’re following the same protocol, as far as the administrative process is concerned, that we’d follow in similar-type incidents,” was all that sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt would say about the issue.

The seven deputies and two California Highway Patrol officers tried to take Silva into custody early Wednesday morning after law enforcement received a report of a possibly intoxicated man outside Kern Medical Center, according to the sheriff’s department.

Silva struggled with them, deputies said. A canine was deployed, batons were used and Silva, 33, was pronounced dead at KMC less than an hour later after experiencing trouble breathing.

Witnesses have said Silva appeared to die right in front of them, minutes after officers struck him several times with batons.

The coroner’s office, which reports to Sheriff Donny Youngblood, said Friday that the cause of death hasn’t been determined and is pending toxicology and microscopic studies. Those studies could take as long as four months.

The story also included the names of the Kern County officers involved:

* Sgt. Douglas Sword, 13 1/2 years;

* Deputy Ryan Greer, 4 1/2 years;

* Deputy Tanner Miller, 4 1/2 years;

* Deputy Jeffrey Kelly, four years;

* Deputy Luis Almanza, three years;

* Deputy Brian Brock, 1 1/2 years;

* and Deputy David Stephens, 5 1/2 years.

According to the story, the local FBI branch office “said as a matter of policy, the bureau does not confirm nor deny its involvement in active investigations.” The California Highway Patrol, the story said, will not release the names of CHP officers involved. The story also included this: “CHP Officer Robert Rodriguez said that agency is conducting a standard administrative investigation since there was an in-custody death. There was no third party investigating the incident, he said Monday.”

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