A 33-year-old man died “begging for his life” as he was arrested and beaten by US police officers in California, according to witnesses.
David Sal Silva, a father of four, had trouble breathing and was taken to hospital after reportedly struggling with as many as nine police officers that responded to a call that a drunken man was lying in a field near the Kern Medical Centre in Bakersfield, California at 11.55pm. He died an hour later in hospital.
The official police account of the incident last Tuesday claims that Silva resisted arrest, leading them to call for back-up in the form of the dog unit to assist and used batons to subdue him, according to The Inquisitr. Five more deputies and two California Highway Patrol officers were also called. Witnesses, who filmed the incident, insist that the police officers continued to beat Silva as he pleaded for help.
The victims’ brother, Christopher Silva, was not present at the scene but said he spoke to witnesses who claimed that officers continued the beating for nearly 10 minutes: “My brother spent the last eight minutes of his life pleading, begging for his life.”
Ruben Ceballos, a neighbour who claims he was awakened by the sound of screaming, told The Inquisitr: “When I got outside I saw two officers beating a man with batons and they were hitting his head so every time they would swing, I could hear the blows to his head,”
A witness who claims to live near the scene of the incident told Eyewitness News: “There were at least two of them using their batons on him. They were just sitting on him. And the guys. They were holding him down and punching him, too.”
Another witness said: “He wasn't resisting. He was begging for help, and begging for his life — if you asked me.”
Witnesses recorded the alleged beating on their mobile phones. Officers reportedly went to the homes of witnesses and demanded they hand over mobile phone footage of the alleged beating. The police have been criticised by civil rights activists over the alleged searches with claims that the authorities have violated witnesses’ Fourth Amendment rights.
Video of the incident and an audio recording of the 911 call have been released. Sulina Quair says during the call: “There is a man laying on the floor and your police officers beat the (expletive) out of him and killed him. I have it all on video camera. We videotaped the whole thing.”
Police had said they would not comment on the David Sal Silva case until an investigation was completed.