No criminal charges to be filed after Buffalo man dies in police custody

20-year-old Wardel "Meech" Davis

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — 10 months after a 20-year-old Buffalo man died in police custody, some western New Yorkers are calling for change.

Wardel “Meech” Davis died earlier this year after an altercation with police.

Authorities say that during a struggle with Davis, they noticed he was in medical distress. Davis later died at a hospital.

The New York State Attorney General’s office has been investigating the matter.

AG Eric Schneiderman’s office released a report on Wednesday afternoon, saying no criminal charges will be filed.

“The death of Wardel Davis was a tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” Schneiderman said. “Our extensive investigation uncovered policies in real need of reform by the Buffalo Police Department and the Erie County Medical Examiner. These systemic issues must be swiftly addressed. As in all the cases we investigate under the executive order, we remain committed to a fully independent review of the facts and an exhaustive and transparent accounting of our investigation.”

Both the Erie County Medical Examiner and an independent expert say “Davis died of an acute asthma attack either exacerbated by the physical altercation or triggered by stress or physical exertion,” according to Schneiderman’s office.

MORE | See the AG’s full report here.

Buffalo-Black Lives Matter responded to the report, calling the decision “a travesty.”

Buffalo police also responded:

Wednesday at 5 p.m., people plan to rally outside Buffalo Police headquarters.

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