DA Flynn: No charges for officers accused of false arrest

Oct 8, 2020

A social justice group is calling on Erie County District Attorney John Flynn to charge Buffalo Police officers after the false arrest of a man in March. However, Flynn said it is not his jurisdiction.


Morgan Eaton and fiancee Dominique Calhoun speak outside of the Erie County Courthouse
Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

Morgan Eaton said his life was turned upside down due to what he calls a false arrest on drug charges earlier this year at the hands of Buffalo Police.

“I lost a job,” he said. “My children are asking me questions. I’ve been upstanding in this community for over 20 years. I’ve been coaching football, Little League football since 2002, and now I have to answer questions from my son like, ‘Are you a drug dealer?’”

Wednesday afternoon in front of the Erie County Courthouse, Eaton and the Concerned Citizens Coalition called on District Attorney John Flynn to punish the officers involved in Eaton’s arrest.

Eaton was originally charged with felony drug possession stemming from the early-March traffic stop where officers believed they had recovered 30 ounces of cocaine. The substance was later found to be pills for medicinal use, but Eaton was charged anyway. Concerned Citizens claims one of the responding officers, John Davidson later perjured himself by claiming to know the substance was in fact cocaine.

Buffalo Chapter NAACP President Mark Blue
Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

Buffalo NAACP President Mark Blue says cops who break the law need to be prosecuted the same as regular citizens and a cop who perjures themselves calls into question other statements they have made that put people behind bars.

“Here we go,” Blue said. “Another miscarriage of justice for another African American. These officers have proven to be liars. Now, because of their testimony a lot of other individuals who have fallen susceptible to their lies, are incarcerated unjustly.”

Inside the District Attorney’s Office, a combative John Flynn met with reporters and refuted many of the allegations made by Concerned Citizens. However, Flynn admits Davidson made procedural mistakes that night, but any punishment Davidson may receive should come from his superiors in the police department.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn speakers with reporters Wednesday.
Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

“The issue that I’ve got to look at. Did he intentionally defraud anyone, or intentionally file a false instrument that rises to the level of criminal conduct?" Flynn said. "And the answer to that is clearly, ‘no.’”

Eaton has filed a civil suit related to this case.