Witness says he was arrested for speaking up about use of force by deputies

Witness says he was arrested for speaking up about use of force by deputies »Play Video
Jason Land says Thursday, May 9, 2013, in Kern County jail in Bakersfield, Calif., that he was arrested after speaking up about alleged brutality by deputies. Land says he witnessed the beating death of another man, 33-year-old David Silva.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Less than 24 hours after speaking to Eyewitness News about what he witnessed Tuesday night, Jason Land found himself in jail. Now, he says he's fearing for his life.

He said the Kern County deputies he observed were acting like "animals." Land said he witnessed a confrontation between deputies and 33-year-old David Silva, who died while in custody just after midnight Wednesday.

"They jumped out, reached for their bats, and beat that man until they killed him," he said, "right in front of my face."

He said he didn't know what to do next, so he called Eyewitness News. Even before being interviewed the first time on Wednesday, he was afraid of going on camera.

After speaking up, he said he felt like he was being followed by deputies. He said he became paranoid, so he ran to a friend's house, who drove him to the hospital.

While at the hospital, Land was arrested for being under the influence of PCP.

He said he was arrested because he spoke up.

"If I wouldn't have said nothing, I wouldn't have been in cuffs," he said. "But since I said something, I'm in cuffs."

The 31-year-old Land is on felony probation for domestic violence. But, he insisted he was not under the influence of any drugs at the time of his arrest.

Land was released from jail Thursday, but he thinks he'll be targeted.

"I'm hiding," he said. "That's what I'm going to do. They got the wrong guy in cuffs."