Kern County’s sheriff says he has asked the FBI to investigate the death of a man beaten by police while witnesses shot video with cellphones.
Sheriff Donny Youngblood said in a statement Tuesday that he has asked the FBI to conduct a parallel investigation into the death of 33-year-old David Sal Silva.
Youngblood says his department took two cellphones seized from witnesses to the FBI’s Sacramento office earlier Tuesday.
The department has come under scrutiny for seizing the phones, but Youngblood defends the move, saying they were taken with warrants as part of the investigation.
Deputies said Silva fought them May 8 after they approached him about complaints of drunken people in the area. Six deputies, a sergeant and two California Highway Patrol officers were at the scene. Silva was beaten, stopped breathing and was pronounced dead at a hospital.
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