BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) — After being wrongfully convicted for a murder they did not commit, two Buffalo men are demanding the city and county pay up. The two surviving members of what’s known as “The Buffalo 5” filed a lawsuit today seeking more than $200 million.
“Thinking back over the whole struggle we had as far as this fight,” said John Walker, who’s suing the city. “Thinking when I was 16 years-old, me and my friends and how our lives were stolen from us.”
John Walker and Darryl Boyd were wrongfully convicted of the 1976 murder of William Crawford. That conviction has since been overturned, but only after the two men spent decades in prison.
“Then after that, put through suffer and pain and misery,” Boyd said during a news conference outside City Hall on Thursday.
Boyd and Walker are each suing the city. the county and several former detectives for $112 million. They’re suing for the years they spent in prison, plus punitive damages.
“We’re inspired by John and Darryl. Despite having their lives stolen from them at a very young age, they never stopped pushing for the very system that wronged them to recognized their innocence,” said Ryanne Perio. who’s representing the two men in the lawsuit. “We are in awe of their courage in their decades-long struggle to have their convictions overturned and their names cleared.”
In the lawsuit, they accuse former Buffalo Police homicide detectives of withholding evidence and using lies and pressure tactics to pin a murder on five innocent teenagers.
“If they recognize when they review the facts of this case, and the evidence that John and Darryl are almost certainly innocent and if they recognize that their rights were violated and their lives were ruined for no reason then they should do the right thing,” said attorney David Rudin.
“No matter what they decide to give me, can’t give me back what was taken from me,” Walker said.
Boyd and Walker’s attorney said they’re now waiting on a response from the city and county but that they are prepared to fight in court if an agreement isn’t reached.
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