Earlier this week, attorney John Tello, the lawyer representing the witnesses who had taken cell phone videos of the alleged police beating death of David Silva at the hands of Kern County and California Highway Patrol officers, had said that he was hoping to release one of the videos yesterday.
However, instead of releasing the video, Tello held a press conference yesterday in Bakersfield to provide the latest updates from the case. According to Tello, the analysis of the cell phone videos will not be ready until Monday or Tuesday, and he gave no indication that they will be released to the press. In addition, Tello announced that a new attorney, criminal lawyer Daniel Rodríguez, will now be representing the witnesses.
Here is a video of the full press conference:
The press release Tello shared provided new details to the case:
- Tello represents six individuals “who witnessed all or part of the events of the early morning hours of May 8, 2013, involving the tragic death of David Sal Silva, and the seizure of cell phones containing videos of those events that was taken by two of those witnesses. The witnesses that I represent are María Meléndez, Francisco Arrieta, Selena Quair, Melissa Quair, Laura Vázquez, and a minor whose name shall not be divulged because of confidentiality.”
- After two cell phones were delivered to Tello’s office last Wednesday morning, Tello contacted the owners of the phones, María Meléndez and Francisco Arrieta, to assure that these phones were indeed their phones and those that were used in filming the Silva incident. After this was confirmed, Tello hired a “cellphone forensic analyst to begin a thorough examination and analysis of the cell phone videos that were contained in those cell phones as they pertain to the Silva matter.” Tello was “told that this analysis could take several hours or possibly days before it was completed.” Because the cell phone expert had other commitments, Tello said that the the analysis would not be done by Friday, May 17, which was the original date Tello had given the press. Tello said that he was “now told that the work will now completed until Monday May 20 or early Tuesday May 21, after which time it will be reviewed with all clients and attorneys present.”
- Tello also said that his clients, upon his own suggestion, have retained the services of attorney Daniel Rodríguez of Daniel Rodríguez & Associates “to represent them in all matters pertaining to these events and any pending litigation.” Tello will continue to serve as an associate. According to Tello, “Mr. Rodriguez has extensive experience and expertise in handling civil rights matters in federal court and has litigated numerous cases involving violations of citizen’s rights successfully.” All future questions will now be directed to Rodríguez.
- Tello also said the following: “Finally, these client witnesses and their families have been the subject of extreme emotional distress as a result of the events they witnessed during the early morning hours of May 8, 2013 involving the death of David Sal Silva, and their subsequent sequestration and seizure of their cellphones, as well as the intense scrutiny that they have come under from the media, the investigative agencies, and the public since that time. At the request of counsel, we have hereby advised them that they will give no further statements to the media or to any investigative agency or any other statements to any other individuals until they have had the opportunity to meet with attorney Daniel Rodríguez and have had the opportunity to discuss with him their observations and the cellphones and other evidence that has been gathered. The witnesses wish to extend to the Silva family their condolences on the death of David Sal Silva in such a tragic manner, and they are and will continue to pray for them.”