Dauphin County DA called to recuse himself from inmate death investigation, friends push for answers

SWATARA TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. - The attorney for the family of 21-year-old Ty'Rique Riley who died in prison custody July 1st, is asking Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo to recuse himself from the investigation. Attorney Tracey Lewis called for more transparency Wednesday during the Prison Board of Inspectors meeting. Lewis wants Chardo to turn the case over to the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office. However, Chardo tells FOX43 he has no plans to do so. Chardo believes, "it would be disingenuous to claim a conflict of interest when there isn't one." He says, by statute, "serving on the board is not a conflict of interest" in the investigation.

Friend of Riley are demanding the incident not be swept under the rug. Riley was arrested June 26th for aggravated and simple assault. Five days later on July 1st, still under Dauphin County Prison Supervision, he died.

"How you go there and you come back dead," asked Kelvin Maxson, former inmate and prison reform activist.

The Dauphin County District Attorney's Office is investigation the incident and couldn't release much information on what happened, but says Riley died after becoming unconscious following a struggle with prison guards. That information does not sit well with those who knew Riley.

"From what I've seen he was always a beautiful child," said Maxson. "Always smiling, always giggling, always trying to help others."

Maxson is now holding protests outside the Dauphin County Prison on Saturday mornings. He wants answers for Riley, and other inmates whom he says have suffered brutality from guards inside the prison.

"I've seen people come home with gashes and stitches and broken limbs, and broken orbital sockets," said Maxson. "And women telling horrible stories of they had to do certain things just to survive and it's sad."

The DA's office says it is very seriously continuing this investigation.

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