The newly-formed Kern Unity Coalition said Kern County authorities have a history of using excessive force, something they say, needs to stop in order for law enforcement to regain the trust of citizens.
"When I've got your back means I'll stand there and let you beat a man to death and not say anything now, you've gone past the line of loyalty and into felony," said Duane Goff, Commander for the local American GI Forum.
That's what the Kern Unity Coalition said it thinks happened in the death of David Silva and is the reason it's asking Kern County to form a citizen review board.
"They beat him to death," said Debbie Reyes, a member of the California Prison Moratorium Project. "They didn't shoot him. They beat him to death and that's criminal."
The coalition said Silva's death is just one example of many cases of possible police brutality in Kern County against people of color.
"Yes, they're racist," said Matthew Cruise of Pull Out from Poverty Inc. "They're not bad people. They're just racist. They come with a biased set of paradigms that kick in when they cross Union Avenue."
Cruise says he's experienced the brutality firsthand.
"While my wife was cooking cookies for our son, the coroner knocked on our door and told us that a police officer that was still on duty shot our son in the back of the head while he was running away," said Cruise.
That was in east Bakersfield in 1987. Cruise said he wants to create the review board not just for his son or David Silva, but for other cases like the death of David Turner.
In 2011, a deputy shot and killed the former football star in an incident that was ruled justified.
"It is high time people be made accountable for their actions," said Cruise.
Back then, the NAACP asked Sheriff Donny Youngblood to form a review board.
"That's just not going to happen," Sheriff Youngblood told 17 News in 2011. "When you start putting citizens on a review board who know nothing about being a police officer, you put, you're putting your police officers in extreme jeopardy."
On Thursday, the sheriff said the same thing.
Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Williamson said he's not opposed to the idea, but says a review board may cause more harm than good.
"California law prohibits citizens from reviewing citizens' personnel files, and in many cases, that's a great portion of the investigation," said Chief Williamson. "Often times they feel powerless because all they can do is make recommendations."
The coalition is also asking the Department of Justice to investigate police brutality in Kern County.