Tyler Hilliard's parents to file lawsuit against Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity over son's hazing death

Tyler Hilliard's parents to file lawsuit against Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity over son's hazing death
Tyler Hilliard's parents, Myeasha Kimble and William Hilliard, are speaking out about the epidemic of hazing in the collegiate setting, particularly fraternities, on the fifth anniversary of their son's passing. They intend to announce the re-filing of their case against a well-known fraternity at a news conference on Thursday, September 14th, 23.

Myeasha and William initially brought a wrongful death claim against the UC Regents, Pi-Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the fraternity in 2019. They assert that their son Tyler Hilliard died as a result of being hazed by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in their complaint under Penal Code 245.6 (hazing). Tyler allegedly passed out at Mount Rubidoux on September 16, 2018, following his alleged final hazing ceremony, a "initiation hike," which came after weeks of alleged physical, emotional, and mental torment.

Tyler passed away at the age of 20. He was pursuing a business major at the University of California, Riverside, and had just started his junior year. According to the lawsuit, Tyler and other pledges were made to partake in activities designed to intellectually, physically, and emotionally wear them down, including pushing them to exhaustion and causing physical harm, as a requirement for being admitted into the Alpha fraternity.

It is said that the hazing includes physical abuse such as being repeatedly struck on the buttocks with wooden paddles and hit hundreds of times on the side of the body while blindfolded and shirtless. Tyler was hospitalized a week before he passed away as a result of hazing, and despite obvious warning signals, Alpha persisted in abusing Tyler physically and psychologically.

Myeasha Kimble and William Hilliard said, "I hope that our son's case will draw attention to this fatal custom of hazing and perhaps save someone's life.

Both before and after Tyler's death, there were hazing deaths. Universities and fraternities do not go far enough in protecting students. Tyler yearned to fit in. Because of the excellent work the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity conducts for the African-American community, he wanted to join it. He shouldn't have had to risk his life for it, said Toni Jaramilla, an accomplished civil rights and employment lawyer of Toni Jaramilla, APLC.

"Hazing is forbidden. However, if they wish to join, fraternities like Alpha continue to mistreat young men like Tyler. Tyler's family believes that by filing a lawsuit, we can end this heinous practice. Jim DeSimone, who was just named the Best Lawyers' Civil Rights Lawyer of the Year in Los Angeles, asks anyone with information about Alpha Phi Alpha's mistreatment to get in touch with him.

Hazing is a unique behavior that, when it happens frequently enough, turns perversely ordinary as those who partake get accustomed to its inhumanity. Without engaging in illegal hazing, young black males can gain comradery, strength, honor, dignity, and respect. Unfortunately, violent physical conflict is now seen as a necessary component for acquiring these qualities, and Tyler died as a result. Renowned civil rights lawyer Rodney S. Diggs declares, "We will obtain justice for Tyler and his family.

Historical figures including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and Frederick Douglass are among the notable Alpha Phi Alpha graduates.

Without a doubt, none of them approved of hazing as a prerequisite for joining a fraternity.
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