Police Abuse

Update on Deadly Bakersfield Police Beating: Seized Phone's Video Disappears, Sheriff Calls in FBI

Remaining video may go public soon


The Silva family
Provided by family

Last Friday, Brian Doherty passed along reporting of what sounds like a horrific, deadly beating by law enforcement officers of a Bakersfield, Calif., man outside a hospital for the crime of maybe being drunk in public. The beating was captured by cell phone video by at least two witnesses. The Kern County Sheriff's Department then seized those phones as well.

You may suspect that when those phones are returned to their owners, the videos were suspiciously gone. You would be half-right. One video cannot be found. The other one is apparently intact. In a slightly good piece of news, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood has asked the FBI to investigate the phone as well to see if there was an actual video on the phone that had been deleted and to see if it can be recovered.

The two witnesses have legal representation, and the one intact video may be released on Friday. The Bakersfield Californian reports:

Standing in his downtown Bakersfield office Wednesday, [John] Tello said it's important that a technical examination of the phones be undertaken so that he can determine, if possible, whether any video was deleted from the phones after it was recorded in the early morning hours of May 8.

Tello said he watched the available video Wednesday morning, and he confirmed what Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood revealed Tuesday: that one of the witnesses' cell phones contains no video. He said he couldn't comment further about what was caught on video, but he said there's a possibility the video could be released to the public this week.

"Friday is probably a fair estimate," Tello said. "It's the property of my clients, so it's up to them when it will be released."

His clients shot the video with the intention of sharing it with news outlets, Tello said. And he has no reason to believe their intent has changed.

Tello said the client with the missing video is very clear that she did record footage of the beating. She also, according to the Californian, happened to be the witness standing closest to the beating.

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  1. How’s that New Professionalism doing, Antonin?

  2. You know that one is, at bottom, a badge licking statist when one accepts the proposition that another’s right to exclude others from his castle is not absolute.

    In a free society, the value of one being able to exclude all of the king’s men from his castle must be absolute

    1. Go to the Daily Fail and you’ll find a story, complete with video,of a cop grabbing a homeowner by the throat, in his own home, and telling the homeowner that he can submit and obey or be beaten and jailed.

      Welcome to the land of the free.

      1. I mainly blame the judiciary. Most judges are more sycophantic to cops than Chris Matthews is to Barack Obama. if our worthless courts would simply put a smackdown on cops when they do this stuff, things really would change. A guy can dream I guess.

        1. Judges get special treatment from the cops. They call 911 and the cops race to their aid. If they are driving drunk they get a ride home. If they treated cops like everyone else, then the cops would treat them like everyone else. So it will never happen.

          1. Judges do deserve a great deal of the blame.

            OT: This morning, I heard on WBZ radio that there are two micro breweries opening up per day. I thought of you.

            1. I’m a nano brewery. Pico brewery. Femto brewery. You do the math.

      2. Think I saw that yesterday. The guy said “this is not a police state” in response to the query “why won’t you open the door and let us in” posed by one of the cops.

        1. I’m not sure if that’s the same video. I saw the video you’re talking about, and I think that’s the one where basically the whole family ends up getting tazed.

          My favorite part about that video: The cops were apparently there because there’d been claims of domestic violence. So the cops basically attacked a woman because of allegations that her husband was attacking her.

          ‘We’re here to help you, ma’am!’ the cop said, as he shot her with a 50,000 volt stun gun.

          1. On June 18, 2007, my wife and I were at home, enjoying some herb.

            Suddenly, the door bell rings followed by several knocks on the door. There is an outer door leading into a small vestibule / porch like room, about 6 by 8.

            Its one of Duxbury’s finest. I close the door into the front hallway and stand between him and the door. He claimed that he was responding to a 911 call.

            I would not let him into the house (this being some 17 months prior to Mass voters decriminalizing dope). My wife came to the inner door leading into the front hallway, peeked her head out and told the cop that she had not called 911.

            The cop was satisfied and left.

            Under no circumstances did I want to let him in to house. We had been partaking on the first floor in the family room.

            Due to family reasons, we had to rent the house a couple of years back. We told the tenants that if they wanted to light up, they might want to do so upstairs or in the basement.

            1. The cop was satisfied and left.

              To be fair, most of my contact with cops has ended just fine. I know Reason commenters tend to be very anti-cop, but most cops are just normal people doing a job.

              The problem is that, like any position, you will have assholes. When an asshole works in IT he is only an issue to the people who have to work with him. When an asshole is a cop, he has the potential to attack you without repercussions.

              The issue isn’t necessarily police officers generally. I think the main issue stems from double standards within the court system which happen to allow the assholes to get away with their dangerous behavior, while simultaneously incentivizing scumbags to behave like scumbags.

              1. Even though I certainly count myself in the anti-cop club, most of my contact with them has ended well enough, like you.

                Sure, the cop who came to the door probably was responding to what he thought was a 911 call. It did not originate from our house.

                Thus, he probably was satisfied that there was no domestic violence that had taken place when my wife stuck her head out the door.

                In one respect, from a relative perspective, we were lucky given what we so often observe, including what that video captured.

                Sure, maybe a guy like dunphy would have been content with seeing my wife show her face and then leave like the cop we encountered.

              2. To be fair, most of my contact with cops has ended just fine.

                Not me, I come by my biases honestly. I could fill the comment section with shitty stories, and I’m not rude or disrespectful.

                1. Where do you live? I guess Chicago suburban cops are less shitty than cops generally. I just moved to the city recently and haven’t actually run into CPD police officers, so I don’t have any experience with city cops.

                  They’re probably worse than the ones I had in the west suburbs.

                  1. I’m in pittsburgh now, but I’m from a small place south of here. Our county was at one time one of the poorest in the country.

                    The local cops were very corrupt. I can’t tell you how many times someone I knew was pulled over and their cash and drugs “confiscated”. One dude they stole his shit and fucking charged him with possession at the same time.

                    On top of that the chief of police’s son was a big drug dealer who would rip people off then they’d be arrested before they could get revenge. I’m sure that he’s been killed by now as his daddy ain’t on the force anymore.

                    Like I said, I could go on and on with this shit. I’d rather be surrounded by violent gang members than the cops, because the cops will be just as brutal but they aren’t accountable to anyone.

                    1. Well, in the mostly white, upper middle class suburb that little priviliged Irish grew up in, if the cops did that, they would have gotten shit on by helicopter parents that were shocked the cops were harassing their little angels.

                      I guess there are benefits to being surrounded by total wimps for your entire childhood.

                    2. Well, in the mostly white, upper middle class suburb that little priviliged Irish grew up in…

                      Dammit man, now I’m gonna have to stop reading your comments in a southie accent.

                    3. I’m a White Sox fan, so south side of Chicago, motherfucker. You can read my comments in the super fans from SNL voice, so long as you remember to punctuate it with the sound of gunshots.

                2. Not me, I come by my biases honestly. I could fill the comment section with shitty stories, and I’m not rude or disrespectful.

                  I could do that about the police in Boulder CO. Since moving to Maine the cops seem to be remarkably human. It’s really unnerving.

                3. Not me, I come by my biases honestly. I could fill the comment section with shitty stories, and I’m not rude or disrespectful.

                  Ditto. I live in Texas.

              3. I’ve only had friendly encounters with cops.
                I’ve only ever dealt with small town cops. I can’t say for sure, but I suspect that when everyone knows the cop by name, along with his family members, and they all know his address, it provides an incentive for the cop being friendly. Few cops would want to have all their neighbours against them, particularly when they don’t have a large department of fellow thugs to protect them.

            2. ‘Smoke everything outside’ has been my rule since the 90s. Tobacco, whatever, outside. Not as much smoking going on anymore, but it all happens outdoors anyway.

          2. It’s depressing that there are so many of these videos that we’re not all talking about the same one. 🙁

  3. Video of misconduct deleted from phone…..that’s unpossible.

    1. I’m beginning to wonder if it might not be a good idea to give the power to confiscate evidence of wrongdoing to those accused of that wrongdoing.

  4. I’m willing to suspend judgement here that maybe the phone’s owner didn’t know how to use the phone. But frankly the whole case smells worse than Bakersfield usually does.

  5. Please remember to have your phone set to auto-upload your videos. Mine goes to 2 places.

    1. BamBuserBamBuserBamBuser

  6. I’m a little surprised they still have the one video.

    1. It probably shows very little or is too grainy or something.

      1. Are you talking about the Silva video or that Michael Jackson/Macaulay Culkin sex tape you bought on eBay?

        1. Both.

    2. They had the foreward facing camera selected so it’s only got the horrified face of the person taking the video.

  7. Even sans video, is it currently agreed that he was unarmed? Then cops should be going to jail.

    My challenge still stands.

    I will, with nine of my best friends, surround an unarmed cop. My friends and I will be armed with tasers, night sticks and pepper spray. We will take that unarmed cop down, secure him in cuffs, and when we’re done, he will be alive and will suffer only minimal cuts and bruises. Guaranteed.

    Any cop want to take the challenge?

    1. I wouldnt hold my breath waiting on that to happen Paul.

    2. 9 on 1 you don’t even need the tasers, night sticks, or pepper spray.

      1. Officer safety. I’m not going to risk a bloody nose to get him into cuffs. I get the same tools he does to subdue me (minus the gun, of course).

        The point being I (and my nine friends) can do it without causing serious injury to Mr. PoliceOne, every…single…time.

        1. He was drunk. You know how people ON ALCOHOL can be.

          1. Actually, that’s what the vast majority of “he was on PCP” cases end up being.

    3. “We will take that unarmed cop down, secure him in cuffs, and when we’re done, he will be alive and will suffer only minimal cuts and bruises.”

      Sounds like someone needs to be brushed up on the latest “procedures.”

    4. You could beat the shit out of the cop and then say, “huh, guess you really do to smack a suspect around a bit with the nightstick! whoda thunk it?!”

      Then let him bleed a bit before letting him get treatment from the emt.

      1. Hey, I’ll be the last to deny that some perps are going to get cracked pretty good from time to time when they’re struggling. But for fuck’s sake, can we please keep them alive? You know, so we can at least hear their side of the story?

    5. You’d pass on a chance to shoot the motherfucker????

  8. Christ, don’t show me the photo of the guy with his 3 daughters. I can’t get too drunk tonight, I still have work tomorrow.

    1. I know. This shit is real and it is a terrible tragedy. It could happen to any of us. Not sure why more people don’t have righteous indignation over it. I know there a lot of atheists here, but I really think this is a spiritual condemnation of our country and people.

      1. How people can get so angry and invest so much emotion into hating the Koch brothers or a politician that cheats on his wife when there is this crap going on, I’ll never figure out.

  9. Can I remind everyone here that the man was a criminal. He was clearly guilty of the crime of resisting a beatdown, and I am certain that the remaining, undeleted video evidence will show that.

  10. How long before Tello gets pulled over every time he leaves his house and his phone starts ringing all hours of the night?

  11. “Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood has asked the FBI to investigate the phone as well to see if there was an actual video on the phone that had been deleted and to see if it can be recovered.”

    Good job, Sheriff Youngblood.

    1. According to attorney Scott Greenfield:

      “When Youngblood seeks to salvage credibility, he’s not being forthright. What he’s really saying is he wants to see what it will take bring the public back to his side, to calm down, close their eyes and believe once again that the police are their friends. It’s not trust, but the stopping the loss of credibility until trust is gone forever.”


  12. Once a loser, always a loser I guess.


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