Calif.’s Kern County pays $3.4M to settle ‘David Silva death’ civil lawsuit

Calif.’s Kern County pays $3.4M to settle ‘David Silva death’ civil lawsuit

The family of a 33-year-old man, who was beaten to death by police officers in California's Kern County in May 2013, has finally settled a civil lawsuit with the county for $3.4 million.

David Silva died from asphyxiation during an encounter with seven county sheriff's deputies and two California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers. Officers beat him with batons, placed in several control holds, and compressed him down against the pavement for ten minutes while his body was hogtied. He was also bitten by a police dog.

Documents from the civil lawsuit case revealed that Dr. Eugene Carpenter Jr., who conducted Silva's autopsy, was told by the sheriff's office that the victim's arrest involved "no foul play" from the officers involved.

Carpenter Jr. said in the court, "I recall I was told there's no foul play, nothing out of community standards was done, and that is the piece of information I was looking for and that is the piece of information that I have - that I am relying on. If that is false, then my conclusions may have to be changed."

Silva had been asleep on the sidewalk opposite a Bakersfield medical centre, before officers arrived and tried to remove him. An investigation revealed that he was intoxicated, but he had no firearm at the time.

The settlement between the victim's family and Kern County came as a police officer in Bakersfield resigned after being accused by a former female colleague of sexual harassment. Hillary Bjorneboe, 25, alleged that she was repeatedly subjected to sexual harassment by her training officers Steven Glenn and Travis Brewer, and was fired when she complained.