Surprise, Surprise

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One of the videos eyewitnesses shot with a cell-phone while cops beat David Sal Silva to death in Kern County, California, has “disappeared” now that the phones are in the sheriff’s department’s custody.

“Gosh, what a coincidence!” spluttered Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood. OK, that’s my paraphrase of his quote. He actually wrung his hands and moaned about the “questions” that the slaying raises and the Silva family’s sorrow and boasted he “totally understand[s]” because “we’re not just cops, we’re people, too.” And so, with his deputies busily destroying evidence, Don’s taken the “unprecedented” step of asking that paragon of integrity, the FBI, to conduct a “parallel” investigation with the Bakersfield PD. Since employees from the same office as the murderers won’t determine what happened that night but their accomplices will, we’re supposed to conclude Don’s just a regular guy, open-minded and fair, rather than a typically corrupt politician running a gang of killers.

Call me touchy, but I take issue with this thug, liar and thief’s comparing himself with us. Don, you are scum and no more a “people” than Lon Horuchi, Lt. Calley, or the “air marshals” who slaughtered Rigoberto Alpizar in cold blood. Neither is any of the sleaze that “works” for you by preying on us and sponging off our money.

Meanwhile, Mr. Silva’s executioners are on “paid administrative leave,” i.e., a vacation courtesy yet again of us chumps, the taxpayers. Oh, but it’s not a reward for offing another serf, no, no, no. Rather, it’s “primarily for their own safety. Email threats have been received, [Don] said…” Yeah, right.

Finally, let us ponder the lessons Our Rulers have provided for potential eyewitnesses who record cops’ brutality on their cell-phones. Those handy little gadgets are increasingly inconveniencing America’s hired brutes as their atrocities go viral on youtube; more and more, citizens’ taping reveals Barney Fife’s barbarity to all the world. That tends to put a crimp on Barney’s fun when he next encounters Otis under the influence. What to do? Well, intimidating the videographers, holding them in their home for ten hours until they surrender their cell-phones, earns you more unfavorable publicity. You need something else, something legal, something you can manipulate to show you’re a good guy doggedly pursuing the truth. How about if you keep the phones for “a forensic examination”? You can “copy” the “data” on them, then pass them to your buddies in the Bakersfield PD and the FBI so they can “forensically examine” and “copy data,” too. You can also “maintain a digital copy of the phones’ contents,” which means that returning the phones to their owners doesn’t end the invasion of their privacy – and of course, there’s always the threat that illegality on the part of those owners will surface from pictures, records of calls, or text messages on the phones, given that just about everything is illegal these days. How many folks will continue to whip out their cells and record cops’ savagery towards their fellow serfs if this sort of torment awaits them?

Our guy Don “said he sympathizes with the witnesses whose cell phones were taken” – oh, I’ll bet he does – “saying he also might be offended if it happened to him.” Ya think?

“One question coming out of this case,” continues the shockingly even-handed report from the Bakersfield Californian, “may need to be answered by the courts. Does the law support the detention of witnesses for up to eight hours in an effort to obtain possible evidence? It’s not uncommon for police to contain a scene before a search warrant if [sic] obtained, [Don] said. ‘What makes this case different, in a sense, is that these people were not suspected of a crime.’” No, cops merely abused them as if they were. “’They just had evidence,’ he said. ‘I think the courts ultimately will make that decision whether we did something right, wrong or indifferent, from a legal standpoint.’”

Why am I certain that the “legal standpoint” will be diametrically opposed to the moral one? (Thanks to Travis Holte for the link.)

8:36 am on May 15, 2013