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WKBW 7 News Buffalo

Family of Tyler Lewis files discrimination complaint against Erie Co. DA Flynn

By Yoselin Person,


The family of 19-year-old Tyler Lewis announced they’re filing a discrimination complaint against Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

Lewis, a freshman at Buffalo State who majored in business administration, was stabbed and killed on October 14 on the grounds of the University at Buffalo's North Campus.

The filing of the complaint comes after Flynn held a news conference in March addressing the case.

Flynn says in the video:

“Obviously this is a tragic situation it may seem that I'm a little miffed by being called a racist and being called incompetent, and you know to a certain degree I am, but I‘m more upset about a young man dying,” Flynn says.

Flynn says when he said "to a certain degree I am," he's talking about being upset by those comments.

But after hearing DA Flynn’s words, Tyler’s family began filing a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights.

"It just confirmed, and how it all fit in as to how they never were transparent,” says Roquishia Lewis, Tyler’s mom. “And the person who did this to Tyler is not facing any consequences."

District Attorney John Flynn responded to this accusation in a statement saying:

“The video clip being circulated on social media is ridiculous, misleading and completely out of context. During a press conference, I expressed that I was upset by comments that accused me of being ‘racist and incompetent.’ It was my response to criticism I received for not divulging all of the facts about the tragic death of a Black college student to his family or the public until after our investigation was complete, which is a standard procedure. As I stated in the video, I was more distraught by the death of a young African American man than by these unfounded accusations of racism. I took an oath to be fair and just in my commitment to serve the people of Erie County. Everyone who has observed how I have operated over the past six years knows that I have no hatred or bias in my heart.”

Advocates and several others who have dealt with the DA’s office feel there’s a blatant abuse of power by the DA.

"In the Tyler Lewis case nobody is being charged with any crime,” says Carolette Meadows, an advocate. “To call for a federal investigation into the DA’s office for any gender as well as racial bias conducted by the DA and his officers.”

Lewis was stabbed by what police say was a White male between the age of 19 to 22.

Tyler’s family and others believe his killer is being protected by the law.

“Justice for Tyler, and the real story comes out,” says Tyler's mother.

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