District Attorney Will Not Press Charges in Death of David Sal Silva

It has been close to a year since the in-custody death of David Sal Silva at the hands of Kern Country deputies occurred in Bakersfield, and yesterday the district attorney who had promised to conduct an independent investigation about the Silva’s death said that no charges will be filed in the case. According to reports, Green said that Silva’s death was not a homicide and that “law enforcement used reasonable force to arrest him.” Local reports also said that “Silva did not follow [deputies’] orders and fought with them. Family members said Silva went to Kern Medical Center to seek help for mental illness.”

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Here is raw video from that night:

Here is a local report about Green’s comments:

Sheriff (and Coroner, yes, Coroner) Donny Youngblood told the local media, “The facts are the facts. I knew the facts and I knew the result would be the same because you can’t change the facts.” This is coming from the guy who not only heads up Kern County’s law enforcement, but also heads up the county’s medical examiner office.

Local reports also shared parts of a statement from David Cohn, lawyer for the Silva family: “this is the reason we need an independent advisory panel evaluating these types of cases. Kern County District Attorney’s office personnel work with these agencies every day, and they’re the ones in charge of prosecuting cases for them. Apparently, the way it works in Kern County is that unless they catch the officers red-handed, nothing will happen. It appears that they look for ways not to prosecute.”

Last year, just weeks after the death of his son, Silva’s father said the following to a Los Angeles radio host:

From everything that I could see, there were several officers just wailing away at him with batons. It looked like they were doing batting practice. As just like you said, [Michael], they murdered him on the street, basically, they murdered him on the street. I don’t condone the fact that my son was drunk or passed out, but in what world does that kind of a crime meet that kind of punishment? And where… who… whether the sheriff or anyone can say that that’s justifiable. Now they’re trying to say that my son had high blood pressure, that he had meth in his system, that he was depressed, I don’t know… He died of natural causes. That’s what they’re trying to say, I mean, really? How can anyone, how can the sheriff… anyone say that after what they say on the videos? They’s basically saying “Don’t believe your lying eyes or your lying ears, just because we did nothing wrong here, he died of natural causes.”

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