Answers demanded from Erie County officials following two inmate deaths


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – After two recent deaths inside the Erie County Holding Center, several groups and family members are asking Erie County officials to seek some answers.

Dozens of people gathered today in front of the Erie County Holding Center to not only remember those lives but to say County officials aren’t doing enough to find out why two inmates died in the same week.

The groups Racial Justice Buffalo and Black Love Resists in the Rust, helped organize this rally. They want to know why two inmates died in custody at the Holding Center.

Those deaths include Joseph Bialaszewski, who was found unresponsive in his cell on July 26th and Connell Burrell who died last week. The cause of his death has not yet been released.

Burrell’s sister, Monica Lynch attend the rally. She said something needs to change so these deaths stop happening.

“They always talk about black lives matter, it’s not even a black life or white life, this is a life and I’m tired of them taking it for granted,” Lynch said. “They look at people and act like everyone who walks in this door turn into animals all of a sudden. It’s good decent people that just get caught up and they have to go through the process of the law but that doesn’t mean that can’t breathe the next day.”

Lynch said the family will continue seeking justice for their loved one’s death.

Since these deaths happened while the men were in custody, both will be reviewed by the State Commission of Correction’s Medical Review Board.

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