BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - It's been nearly a week since David Silva died after Kern County deputies struck him with nightsticks as they tried to arrest him near Kern Medical Center.
Today, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood asked the Bakersfield Police Department to look at cell phone video of the beating taken by witnesses.
"The Sheriff has requested us to forensically examine the cell phones that were seized as a result of the investigation into the in custody death," said Sgt. Joe Grubbs of the Bakersfield Police Department.
Bakersfield Police said they have been asked to examine the phones but they have not been asked to evaluate the deputies performance.
"Our forensic examiners will basically download the hard rive of the cell phone and examine it for any evidence that may be related got their investigation," said Sgt Grubbs.
Local Defense Attorney Arturo Revelo said he is suspicious of the Sheriff's Office motives in having police look at the tape.
"If they wanted to create a public relations nightmare for themselves, someone did a beautiful job in doing it," said Revelo.
Bakersfield Police said this is the first time they can remember the Sheriff's Office asking them to review cell phone evidence.
"Some requests like this are more uncommon because we just haven't had the technology in the past where we would be asked," said Sgt. Grubbs.
There are at least two cell phones that supposedly captured the incident.
Both were seized by deputies.
But Revelo said since the Sheriff's Office had them for several days before turning them over to police, any attorney could argue they were tampered with.
***(EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was initially published at 3:17 p.m. At 3:37 p.m., the BPD said they had the phones on May 10, two days after the incident. For Story, go here: http://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/bpd-returns-phones-with-videos-related-to-david-silva-beating-to-kcso-after-4-days-of-investigation )***
"I am not saying they did," said Revelo. "But what I am saying is that if someone was to argue that they did they are gonna have a hard time proving that that didn't happen because they have total control and it's extremely fishy how they got it in the beginning."
TO VIEW THE VIDEO OBTAINED BY 23ABC, GO HERE: http://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/newly-released-video-allegedly-shows-fight-between-intoxicated-man-and-law-enforcement
23ABC News obtained video early Friday morning of what appears to be Wednesday's violent encounter between law enforcement and an allegedly intoxicated man who later died in-custody.
The video was shot by a security camera near the corner of Palm Drive and Flower Street in East Bakersfield and time-stamped May 8th, which is the same day of Wednesday morning's incident.
In the video, a man, believed to be Silva, is lying on the ground, when several people can be seen striking Silva. Kern County Sheriff's officials say Silva developed breathing problems following the fight and was taken to Kern Medical Center, where he died less than an hour later.
For further information on this story, tune in to 23ABC at 5 & 6 p.m.
Download our 23ABC mobile and tablet app to stay up-to-date with this developing story.