BAKERSFIELD, CA - The controversial arrest of David Silva has received national attention. News organizations across the country have picked up the story. Some people who don't live in the area have taken out their frustrations by threatening Kern County employees.
The confiscated cell phone videos have people talking on national news outlets, talk radio, blogs and in newspapers.
Some have reported misinformation. CNN told its viewers Bakersfield Police was accused of beating Silva to death.
"Of course it puts Kern County in a bad light, but I think everybody is curious to see if power is abused in any way," said Samantha Burke.
"I love Bakersfield and it's a lot of negative exposure, and I hope it doesn't turn out as bad as it looks," noted Jim Salvage.
Some people are firing back. "It's phone calls throughout the organization, phone calls into Internal Affairs, the Communications Center, the Coroner's office, into different locations of our organization," said Sheriff Donny Youngblood.
"Some are obscene. Some are threatening," he continued.
Online, people are voicing their concerns by flooding the Kern County Sheriff's Department with e-mails. In one e-mail, someone wrote, "Awful story. Just awful. You should be ashamed. I had at one time wanted to visit Bakersfield, but I think I'll pass for my own safety's sake."
Another person wrote, "Your office is full of murderers. What are you going to do about (it)? You are suppose (sic) to arrest criminals. Do your job and arrest the men working with you who murdered someone and stole people's cameras!"
"What we're finding most of those, from what we can track, are from outside of Kern County," explained Youngblood. "There are things that you have a right to say and we expect that, and there are some things you can't say and we certainly aren't ignoring that."
Sheriff Youngblood said Silva's death has created intense scrutiny of his department. Youngblood has placed the deputies involved in Silva's arrest on paid administrative leave.