The sharp cracks echoing from the East Bakersfield street were loud enough to jolt Ruben Ceballos from a midnight slumber. Then he heard screams.Read the rest here.
The 19-year-old jumped from his living room sofa and hurried to the kitchen door, which offered a view of the violent scene outside — Kern County sheriff's deputies repeatedly striking a man in the head with batons as he lay on the pavement.
"I saw two sheriff's deputies on top of this guy, just beating him," Ceballos said in an interview Monday. "He was screaming in pain … asking for help. He was incapable of fighting back — he was outnumbered, on the ground. They just beat him up."
The man was David Sal Silva, 33, a father of four, and he was pronounced dead less than an hour later. The altercation last week was videotaped by witnesses and has roiled the Central Valley city for days.
One woman frantically called 911, telling the operator: "The guy was laying on the floor and eight sheriffs ran up and started beating him up with sticks. The man is dead laying right here, right now. I got it all on video camera and I'm sending it to the news. These cops have no reason to do this to this man."
In an unusual move, sheriff's officials later detained for several hours two witnesses who had videotaped the incident on their phones. They were released only after they surrendered their phones to deputies.