California Sheriff Sued For Deadly Attack On Sleeping Man


The partner of a California man is suing the Kern County sheriff’s department after a May incident in which she alleges sheriff’s deputies attacked him while he slept in someone’s front yard and beat him to death, without the victim having ever had an opportunity to demonstrate that he was a potential threat to their safety.

Tara Garlick and the victim’s four children, three of whom Garlick has since obtained through an application for Guardian ad Litem custody, are suing Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood and eight other individuals, including deputies allegedly involved in the May 17 beating that led to the death of her partner, David Sal Silva.

Garlick alleges the deputies first “knuckle-rubbed” the sleeping Silva and then began beating him with batons as he awoke in a panic. He was then allegedly attacked by a police dog and hog tied, and eventually stopped breathing. Knowing this, the officers allegedly neglected to seek immediate medical attention. Silva eventually ended up at a hospital, but it was too late.

From the filing:

On May 17, 2013, a sheriff’s deputy reported to a scene where a man was asleep on a front lawn. Upon arrival the sheriff’s deputy proceeded to knuckle-rub the sleeping man, causing the man to wake up in a panic. Immediately thereafter, this sheriff’s deputy, along with five other sheriff’s deputies and a sergeant, proceeded to strike this man with batons several times all over his body, while the man screamed in pain and repeatedly begged the officers to stop. At about this same time, a K-9 dog belonging to one of the sheriff’s deputies attacked the man. Eventually, the officers hog-tied the man. After the repeated beating by the sheriff’s deputies and biting by a deputy’s K-9 dog, the man eventually stopped breathing. Nonetheless, the sheriff’s deputies failed to immediately transport the man to a hospital despite the man’s apparent inability to breathe. Finally, after a significant delay the man was taken to Kern Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:44 a.m. on May [1]8, 2013.

A witness told the local newspaper that her mother and another acquaintance each recorded portions of the incident using cellphone video cameras, but they were tracked down by detectives who allegedly barged into her sister’s home without a warrant, demanding — and obtaining — one of the phones. Their attempts to retrieve the other phone (the one used by the witness’ mother) were stalled when the woman refused to hand the device over without seeing a search warrant.

For a man to be asleep in someone’s front yard very likely suggests the possibility that he had compromised himself by taking substances legal or illegal, but that’s speculation. And even the biggest junkie in America doesn’t deserve to be attacked — let alone killed — by a gaggle of five deputies in the manner the lawsuit alleges.

Youngblood said later a pathologist had ruled Silva’s death an accident from “falling, hypertensive heart disease, and complications from being drunk and high on methamphetamines and other drugs.”

That certainly sounds like a lethal cocktail of illness, self-abuse and misfortune – one that doesn’t intuitively gibe with Youngblood’s assertion that Silva was menacing enough to require being hog tied and beaten.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • independent thinker

    One more incident to add to the long list of unjustified deaths by cop.

  • Harold Olsen

    Once more cops show they are just a bunch of thugs with badges. “I’m a cop. I wear a badge. I can do what I choose to whomever I choose. I can even murder someone and get away with it.”

    • Alan

      It goes to show that requiring a higher level of education for cops didnt work

      • CitizenVet

        As the CDC has now released in its statistics, one has more chance of being killed by the police in this country than by terrorists.

        • NObama_Holder_Reid_Pelosi_2012

          Not a surprise, would you happen to have the address to that report for my records? Thanks

      • NObama_Holder_Reid_Pelosi_2012

        A high level of education is not a prerequisite to be a cop. In fact, over the years, offices such as LEO’s have had to lower their standards and requirements such as the civil service testings and physical requirements because their was not enough females and minorities in these offices in which could pass the civil service tests and/or the physical requirements. So the standards had to be lowered in the name of equality or be charged with accusations of discrimination.

        For example: Would you prefer a 120lb blonde woman to show up at a bank robbery to protect you that could be ambushed and knocked out with a open palm back hand to the jaw or a 260 – 280 lb man that can bench press 300 lbs and body slam several attackers if need be.

        Same with fire fighting: your on the 4th floor of a fully involved apartment complex fire passed out due to smoke inhalation. Who do you prefer to show up on the scene when minutes count? The 120lb woman that struggles to carry a 80lb sack of potatoes up and back down a ladder and in which no way can carry you, a 220 + pound unconscious person out of the burning building and down the aerial truck ladder to safety and immediate emergency care or who you prefer a 260lb firefighter that could throw you over his back and carry you out of the burning building within seconds and to safety and emergency care.

        I don’t know where you come up with the purported need for a higher level of anything when it comes to civil service jobs. for the last several decades the standards and requirements have been drastically reduced in order to cater to the special interest and minority groups in which are to the detriment of the general public because people with common sense and physical ability to better perform the job are sent to the back of the line so as to fill certain government mandates that require a certain amount of females and minorities be in the positions regardless to their abilities to perform the duty better or not.

        We sacrifice our safety on all levels because political correctness is more important than human life itself, Thank affirmative action and all the other special interest mandates Government constantly puts in front of our safety.

        • Alan

          I never implied a need for higher education. My remark was from observation of what has happened in areas of my home state. I beleive, they have stopped, or cut back, a program that paid higher salaries to cops ho brought in colledge degrees.

  • Williamsjohnb

    This still presents only ONE side of the report. It does smack of abuse however. It would be responsible reporting if we could hear the defense’s point of view.

    • dan

      the usual : drugs ,assault.,resisting arrest…the LEO trifecta

    • CitizenVet

      If you have been following this case from the beginning- as I have- and seen the surveillance video from the hospital they were across the street from (except the confiscated cell phone videos- two of which magically were erased [sheriff said they must not have recorded]- and the other he said was not clear; although it still is unreleased), you would understand how much this stinks of corruption and murder. Google how many wrongful death suits the Kern County Sheriffs have paid out.

  • justaskin

    Assuming that this guy WAS a threat, would it not be possible for 6 armed deputies to overcome his threat, charge him, read him his rights and take him to jail? Is that the way it is NOT done anymore? Then again, maybe they were not cops at all. That sounds like a good defence. The lawyers will sort it out so don’t worry. Someone has to make money here, don’t they?

    • NObama_Holder_Reid_Pelosi_2012

      Can’t rely on Lawyers, they are largely just as corrupt as the LEO’s, they are all in bed with each other and Lawyers know it is better to scratch LEO’s back than to scratch the civilians back. The civilian has limited abilities to retaliate, but a corrupt cop can use many excuses and resources to target, stalk and threaten a lawyer that goes after the LEO, right down to blatant harassment with frivolous traffic stops and home invasions with made up charges. Things in which a civilian cannot do. About all a civilian can do to a lawyer is contact the bar association and file a complaint, big whoop.

      Who do you think Lawyers fear more? Your ability to file a complaint, or LEO’s ability to stalk, threaten and frivolously and falsely accuse them and their family of criminal actively in which may or may not stick.

  • steve

    another rodney king story. keep it up police and sooner than later there will be no one out there who will respect you uniform.

  • $36364326

    Isn’t that why they are called PIGS!

    • Sortedsortof

      I thought that was from all the donuts.

  • Alan

    Good, she deserves a massive settlement. A good follow up would be for these officers to be beaten like the mad dogs they have proven themselves to be.

    • Dawn in Eastern Washington

      You kill mad dogs. Might not be a bad solution to the bad cops we keep seeing around our nation.

      • Alan

        That was pretty much my thought.

  • Jake Thomas

    After asking for an officers name and commanders name, I was detained for over 30 min. When a sergeant drove by, he stopped and asked me what happened. I told him and he sent me on my way. This should have never happened. Seems there is no difference between the bloods, crips, MS-13 and the police except the police can legally carry and can always have the standard “I was in fear of my life so I shot him” excuse.

    • NObama_Holder_Reid_Pelosi_2012

      You have the right to defend yourself from attackers unless they carry a badge. If they carry a badge you must submit to the assault and wait for them to determine if they will allow you to live or die. General public is going to eventually turn on these cops. The good and smart cops better retire and get out of the field. It would be a shame for a good honest cop to take the heat due to all the bad cops that is constantly increasing in numbers by the day.

      This is all the result or corruption and abuse of authority that stems from the top down, beginning with AG Holder and Napolitano (DHS) and TSA and trickles all the way down to the local pigs.

      I suspect the silent majority will sooner or later draw a line in the sand and bring it to a head. It amazes me how gays can come together in forces of million man marches as can the illegals and the blacks come together for one common goal usually when they are seeking special rights and privileges, but the American people as a whole cannot or will not come together as a nation and take back our Country regardless to party or group affiliation.

      Corruptions from Government and these cops effect each and every citizen here. The Democrats see no wrong doing as they hold control of the Executive branch as well as control of the Senate. As soon as they loose either or both offices, they will scream not fair and unconstitutional. For example, this purported “Nuclear option” Reid has been threatening to use. When Repubs controlled the Senate, Reid was vehemently against it because it didn’t benefit him. Now he is all for it, and when they loose majority control of Senate they will once again be against such things. They know it is not a good idea, but if they can use it to abuse and control people when they are the controllers they are all for it. Cops are exactly the same.

      Cops say they have a right to defend their life at the same time when cops are presently in the area civilians rights to defend their life is banned. Demand to see a search warrant and cops will deem you obstructing a investigation and deem you a threat to their safety and gun you down all the while having your hands cuffed behind you, yet you pose a threat to their safety. Your rights to safety, life and liberty are void and null in the presence of a LEO.

  • Tony Martin

    This is the law suit filed by the person that wants money. May not have one fact when it comes to trial. I will wait to judge once the facts are in.

  • BHR

    This is happening to often in America.

  • Sharpshooter

    With the proliferation of LEO’s killing people and dogs indiscriminately, seemingly to salve their ego or sheer stupidity, we should consider bringing back the old “vigilantes” to go after those murderers and meet out the same type of “justice”. I’ll bet that it would stop immediately!

  • CitizenVet

    What this story doesn’t mention is that Mr. Silva (and all the police) were directly across the street from the hospital (in fact right across from the ER entrance) when this happened, yet they weren’t able to transport him 100 yards to save his life.

  • Esteban Garita

    Seems like every week I read about cops killing people just because they can… and the pigs wonder why people like Christopher Dorner exist, I have no [expletive deleted] to give when pigs meet their end.

    Not all cops are the same? well.. not all citizens are the same either, so when you all stop treating us all like dangerous criminals, we will stop calling you all pieces of [expletive deleted] government thugs with a license to kill.


    America’s finist,bullshat!!all cops are corrupt and are thugs with a god complex!almost every cop has mental issues and is seeing a shrink and yet the country allows them to have guns and a badge!cops are LEO,not peace officers anymore!they are the countries biggest legally armed gang!they prey on the weak,they are assasins,murders and thieves!

  • The Confederatcy

    You cannot put out an inferno with a cup of water, you need overwhelming force to battle police corruption even if [that] means resorting, at some time in the future, to offensive measures…………..