“This was a beat down,” Chris Silva told the Los Angeles Times in an article updating readers on his brother’s wrongful death case. “Seven deputies and two CHP officers failed at their jobs.”
The newspaper’s columnist Robin Abcarian provided an update last week on the infamous David Silva case, which is being represented by the Bakersfield personal injury law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles.
In the column — which you can read by clicking here — Abcarian outlines what happened on the night of May 7, 2013, when officers approached David Silva as he lay on the grass across the street from Kern County Medical Center in east Bakersfield.
When Silva woke up, officers tried to arrest him and released a police dog on him. Over 20 minutes, six more Kern County Sheriff’s Office deputies and two California Highway Patrol officers arrived. Silva was hit with batons, bitten dozens of times, hobbled with a hog-tie-like restraint and sat on by the officers, Abcarian described.
“He vomited, then stopped breathing,” Abcarian wrote. “He was pronounced dead at 12:44 a.m. on May 8.”
David Silva left behind four children, and a loving family who is now advocating for an end to police brutality.
Silva had gone to the hospital that night seeking help. After he fell asleep on the grass outside of the hospital, a security guard escorted him away. Officers were called after he fell asleep again across the street.
The Sheriff’s Office stated Silva was on drugs.
“How high could he have been?” Chain | Cohn | Stiles attorney David Cohn told The Times, who is representing the Silva family in a federal wrongful-death lawsuit. “He was sleeping. That hardly sounds like someone who is amped up on methamphetamine.”
The case received national media attention, including the aftermath when officers confiscated witness’s videos of the incident.
Nearly a year after Silva died, Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green declined to file charges against the officers. And last month, the U.S. Department of Justice also refused to file criminal charges.
Still, the wrongful death lawsuit continues.
Last week, Bakersfield personal injury lawyer Neil Gehlawat, who is also assisting with the Silva case as part of Chain | Cohn | Stiles, appeared on The Groove 99.3 with Sheri Ortiz to discuss police misconduct cases, as well as the Silva case.
* Editor’s Note: Neil Gehlawat is no longer an attorney with Chain | Cohn | Stiles *
To read all about the Silva case represented by Chain | Cohn | Stiles, read the media coverage below:
- Radio show: CCS managing partner speaks on Silva wrongful death case (Blogging for Justice)
- Chain | Cohn | Stiles marks one-year anniversary of David Silva wrongful death (Blogging for Justice)
- CCS responds to Kern County District Attorney decision on Silva case (Blogging for Justice)
- Families of crime victims aim to ‘restore the balance of justice’ (Blogging for Justice)