Online Communities Begin to Rally Around In-Custody Death of David Sal Silva

Gradually the in-custody death of David Sal Silva on May 8 in Bakersfield is beginning to get more and more attention through alternative media and online communities. For example, a new online forum called Justice for David Sal Silva has been formed. The forum contains links to news articles and discussion threads about the case. It also includes a call to action, petitioning Kern County to record police actions through the use of body cameras.

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That post includes the following information, before providing information about why police should be equipped with body cameras:

A camera is good cop’s best friend, whether on the dashboard of his squad car, in the hands of a citizen, or worn on his chest. Good cops, who are doing their jobs properly and legally, have nothing to fear from video.

Bad cops, on the other hand, have everything to fear from photography. A photographic record of their misdeeds is their worst enemy.

In the last few years, Kern County has paid out $10,500,000 in just two major cases:

  • $6,000,000 in the case of James W. Moore, who was beaten to death in 2005 by as many as 14 Kern county jailers while he was strapped to a gurney
  • $4,500,000 in the case of Jose R. Lucero, a mentally disturbed man who was beaten to death in 2010 by several Kern County deputies in front of his parents.

The beating death this month of David Sal Silva will likely cost Kern County taxpayers another $5,000,000 or more, and there is a good chance that the warrantless home invasion in a attempt to seize video evidence will result in an additional lawsuit and payout.

So when all is said and done, Kern County taxpayers will have coughed up $15,000,000 or more, and that’s just for the major cases. There are plenty of lesser cases to add to the tally.

Meanwhile, online outlets like LiveLeak, PolicyMic, and The Inquistr have all covered the Silva case, as well as The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, CNN, NBC News, Salon, the HuffPost, and AOL. A Google search of “David Silva death”  has generated 16,000,000 results as of this posting. There is also a hashtag on Twitter called #Justice4David that is starting to get more tweets, but nowhere near the level of more publicized cases, like the Trayvon Martin case. However, a Facebook meme from Occupy Wall Street has gone viral. That meme was originally posted on the Facebook page of Policing the Police, where the photo has also gone viral.

Latino Rebels has also learned that prominent Latino civil rights organizations have started to examine the case and are discussing how best to respond to it. Last Friday on CNN Latino, the Rebels’ Charles García discussed the case. In the following video, which is in Spanish, CNN mentions how Latino Rebels was the first national Latino news outlet to cover the case. We published our first piece on May 13, and we will continue to stay close to the case.

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