Witnesses to Silva Death Claim That Police Are Covering Up the Truth of Beating

May 17, 2013
3:13 PM

The local news coverage about the alleged beating death of 33-year-old David Silva at the hands of Kern County and California Highway Patrol continues to provide timely updates of the incident. The latest story describes how eyewitnesses on May 8 believe that law enforcement officials are trying to cover up what happened that night.

Here is what the report revealed:


“Cops are being watched. And, as being the face of our community or as a government system, they can’t keep doing what they’re doing,” said Melissa Quair, whose family videotaped the incident.

Quair’s boyfriend, Francisco Arrieta, shot video that begins moments after deputies stopped using batons on Silva. Those deputies say Silva was combative.

“It appeared to show Mr. Silva on the ground. You could hear some sounds of Mr. Silva crying out and other deputies around him. It did not appear to show any batons,” said attorney John Tello.

Quair’s mother, Maria Melindez, says she did capture deputies striking Silva. But, detectives who confiscated her phone through a search warrant later said the video couldn’t be found.

“What we want is for him to come out with the truth,” said Quair.

“Now whether she didn’t take a video and is just saying that, I think we really, really, really have to find out,” said Sheriff Donny Youngblood.

Yesterday Tello had indicated that he would release of his clients’ cell phone videos, which was returned to him by police, as early as today, although nothing has been shared so far. The local Bakersfield story also suggested that a key to the incident could come from the CHP, although it has yet to provide any additional evidence about the case.

Meanwhile, our own @julito77 published an opinion piece for NBC Latino this afternoon asking why there has been little national outrage about Silva’s case, one that is on par to Rodney King and Travyon Martin.

So where is the outrage? Is it because Silva’s parents are not sharing their thoughts publicly to the media and instead are having [family lawyer David Cohn] speak for them? Is the mainstream media being distracted by other stories? And where are the national Latino organizations like MALDEF and NCLR on this?

Last week in Bakersfield, a Latino father died in custody at the hands of police.

The community needs to wake up and demand that justice is served. We owe it to the memory of David Silva. We owe it to his family.