BAKERSFIELD, CA - The Kern County District Attorney's office will conduct an independent review into the death of 33-year-old David Silva. It will be the third investigation into Silva's in-custody death, following the Kern County Sheriff's Department's and the FBI's.
District Attorney Lisa Green said it won't be a speedy process. She will wait for the FBI to complete its investigation, which could take four to eight weeks.
"We came to that decision on our own, under the authority that I have as the chief law enforcement officer in the county," explained Green.
Green said she decided to review the Silva case before Sheriff Donny Youngblood invited her office to investigate. "We will request all of the reports and interviews from the Sheriff's Department, 911 tapes, photos, autopsy," said Green.
"We are going to wait for the FBI to complete their investigation and review the materials they provide us from their investigation," she continued.
At a news conference Thursday, Sheriff Youngblood said Silva put up a violent struggle the night he died. "One of the Highway Patrol officers in this case has been on 12 1/2 years and he said this is one of the most violent resisting arrests he has seen," noted Youngblood.
The pathologist found drugs in Silva's system. He found two uppers and two downers. He ruled Silva's death an accident.
Youngblood said Silva was hobbled when his heart stopped. Silva's hands were handcuffed and his feet were tied together.
"You have to do what you have to do to keep someone from hurting themselves as well as hurting officers. We want to go home at night as well," explained Youngblood.
Between Silva's screams the night he died, you hear calls to get the hobble. The hobbling technique is used by officers to arrest and control a defiant suspect.
"The suspects are quite often under the influence of narcotics or alcohol or some other kind of substance and you put that in the mix, it increases the likelihood they will have medical complications," said Scott Loggins, Senior Law Enforcement Consultant with California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.
The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training is also known as POST. The statewide organization oversees all training for California peace officers.
Loggins said officers are required to have 60 hours of arrest and control training, but each law enforcement agency uses different techniques.
"Some agencies are a little more restrictive with regard to use of force and some give the officers more latitude," he explained.
Youngblood said the deputies involved in Silva's arrest have been cleared to return to duty. No word on when that will happen.