BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Several activists from around the state gathered in east Bakersfield to walk for peace.
The group of concerned citizens wants to raise awareness on an issue they say happens way too often around the country.
From Los Angeles to Fresno, people are taking a stance against what they call police brutality, and they're using the recent case involving David Silva to send their message.
Alicia Moore is one of the many people marching for change.
“I’m not scared. I’m angry and more people need to be angry, and not be afraid. A lot of people are afraid of what goes on in this town and if we don’t stop, it’s going to continue,” said Moore, who’s son’s father died while in custody of law enforcement.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Office recently ruled the in-custody death of David Silva as accidental. Investigators say his on-going health problems combined with drugs and alcohol ultimately killed him, not the batons used to arrest him.
“I don’t care what was in his system. I don’t care. None of that matters. There are contributing factors to his death and to say people are going to be cleared to just go back to work after what happened to him is wrong,” said Moore.
Activist rallied at East High before walking down to the corner of Palm and Flower where Silva died.
“The message here is that justice must be served for David Silva,” said Doug Kauffman of Answer Coalition in Los Angeles.
People participating in the rally hope to send a strong message throughout the community that police brutality will not be tolerated.
“What happened in this particular case is what’s happening more and more, and it’s the norm. Cops are confiscating the video tapes. In this case when they returned the phones, the video disappeared. We believe it’s a violation of the first amendment, but we also believe it’s a cover up,” said Gloria Hernandez of the October 22 Coalition.
Demonstrators are seeking justice for Silva and other victims. They hope raising awareness can help put an end to the unnecessary violence and excessive force they say is used by police.
“We still cry for our son. He’s not forgotten. We will never forget him and we will always continue to shed a light on this issue,” said Melchor Torres.
Among the groups at today’s rally October 22, a national organization that travels to several cities calling for a day of action to stop police brutality.
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