A Buffalo man, who back in 2020 was recorded on camera being beaten in the head by officers from the Buffalo Police Department, has been released from jail after the New York State Supreme Court ruled on an appeal that was filed in another case.

Quentin Suttles had been in the news a few times over the last several years after a few different run-ins with the Buffalo Police Department resulted in what many people believe to be a clear case of police brutality by the BPD and prosecutorial overzealousness by the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

Prior to the 2020 incident that was caught on tape, which led to the Erie County DA having to recuse himself, investigations by the New York State Attorney General, and a special prosecutor being called in, Suttles was arrested by Buffalo Police officers after being accused of speeding and having an illegal firearm.

What Happened in the Previous Incident?

In that incident, which occurred in September 2019, Suttles was in the back seat of a car that was in Buffalo's Broadway Fillmore neighborhood when officers allegedly observed the vehicle speeding. After stopping the car, officers claim that Suttles refused to exit the vehicle, fought with officers, and had an illegal gun on him. After Suttles was taken into custody, officers charged him with multiple crimes.

In June 2021, Suttles, who faced nearly 15 years in prison if convicted on all of the charges that were laid against him in a trial, pled guilty to a single count of criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to 4 years in state prison, along with 5 years parole.

The New York Appellate Court Overturned This Guilty Plea

Almost immediately after Suttles began his sentence in state prison, his attorney filed an appeal alleging that the Buffalo Police Department broke the law and the Erie County District Attorney's Office aided.

In the appeal, which was heard by the Appeals Court on January 12, 2023, Suttles and his attorney argued that the initial traffic stop that was conducted by the Buffalo Police Department was illegal and the officers had no right to stop the car in the first place and they broke the law when they searched and arrested Suttles. Attornies for Suttles also stated in their appeal that during the court process, the Erie County District Attorney's Office did not disclose the illegal conduct of the Buffalo Police Department and that State Supreme Court Judge William Boller was wrong when he allowed the DA's office to use the evidence they gathered.

Suttles' appeal is essentially based on the idea that these actions, along with other illegal things done by the BPD that day, caused Suttles to be wrongly charged with crimes, and since the trial judge allowed those charges and evidence to stay when they shouldn't have been there, he pled guilty to a reduced charge.

On appeal from a judgment convicting him upon his plea of guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree (Penal Law § 265.03 [3]), defendant contends that Supreme Court erred in refusing to suppress physical evidence recovered after the vehicle in which he was a passenger was stopped by the police. We agree.
-Supreme Court of The State of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department

In the end, the New York State Appeals Court agreed with Suttles and his attorney that the Buffalo Police did illegally stop and search their vehicle and ordered his conviction overturned and vacated, for any evidence that the BPD had to be suppressed, and all charges and indictments dismissed.

It is hereby ORDERED that the judgment so appealed from is reversed on the law, the plea is vacated, that part of the omnibus motion seeking to suppress physical evidence is granted, the indictment is dismissed
-Supreme Court of The State of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department

Suttles was released from jail on March 31, 2023, after serving 21 months in prison, and is now a free man.

Neither the Buffalo Police Department nor the Erie County District Attorney's office has released a statement regarding this issue.

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