Erie County District Attorney John Flynn announced Tuesday that due to a conflict of interest, a special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate the actions of two Buffalo Police officers who arrested Quentin Suttles during a May 10 traffic stop.
According to the police complaint, the officers involved smelled marijuana inside the suspect's vehicle, prompting them to order Suttles out. A struggle ensued. A video released by Suttles' attorney shows the 30-year-old man struggling with two officers, one of whom is seen punching Suttles several times.
Two days after the arrest, Flynn was contacted by Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood, who asked that the incident be investigated.
"I started to look into this matter. And I quickly became aware that I was going to have some issues here in this case," he said. "I quickly learned that Quentin Suttles was actually arrested that evening and charged with a number of offenses, from the incident itself. I also learned throughout the course of digging into this thing that Mr. Suttles also had two other open cases in my office that we were prosecuting him on."
Those include a traffic stop in September 2019, during which Suttles was a passenger in a car and, according to prosecutors, was found to possess an illegal handgun. Then, in early February 2020, he was charged with violating an order of protection.
"I also learned, as I kept getting deeper and deeper in this matter, that one of my own Assistant District Attorneys is a potential witness in this matter," Flynn said. "I can't go into details as to why he or she would be a witness."
Identifying a conflict of interest in the investigation of the two Buffalo Police officers, Flynn asked State Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns to appoint a special prosecutor.
"Judge Burns appointed the Monroe County DA, just to investigate the police officers action in this matter and that's it. Everything else I'm keeping," Flynn said.
A court date for Suttles in his latest case has not yet been scheduled, according to the DA's Office.