Lawyer questions police over deadly encounter

It’s been six days since Wardel Davis, a 20-year-old African American man, died after an encounter with two Buffalo police officers on the city’s West Side. What little the public has been told has come primarily from the police and an attorney representing the two officers. Another side of the story is emerging in an exclusive interview with the attorney retained by Davis’s family.

“There are troubling inconsistencies with the police version of events,” Steven Cohen told Investigative Post.

Cohen, a veteran defense and civil rights attorney, said he is troubled by a lack of transparency on the part of police, including their refusal to give the autopsy results to the family.

Cohen also said he is “disturbed” by the conduct of Buffalo police since Davis died. He said police picked up and interrogated his fiance, Jashalyn Washington, for three hours and questioned her without an attorney present. During the interview, Cohen said police seized three cell phones belonging to her and Davis over her objections and returned them only after downloading the data from them.

“We don’t know the facts yet. And we’re not being given access to the facts. We are being kept from the facts right now, kept from the investigation,” Cohen said.

On Wednesday, Investigative Post will publish a story, also scheduled for broadcast at 6 p.m. on WGRZ and Thursday morning on WBFO, on flaws in the system designed to hold Buffalo police accountable. The story will also publish in the upcoming edition of The Public, which hits the streets Wednesday.