*Myeasha Kimble and William Hilliard filed a wrongful death lawsuit and claims under Penal Code §245.6 (hazing) alleging that their son, Tyler Hilliard died as a result of being hazed by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
(A press conference announcing a lawsuit against Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Pi Epsilon chapter at UC Riverside will be held this morning at 10am Pacific. Scroll down for details.)
On September 16, 2018, Tyler collapsed at Mount Rubidoux after an “initiation hike,” the last hazing ritual after weeks of physical, emotional, and mental abuse and torture.
Tyler was 20 years old when he died. He was just entering his junior year and pursuing a major in Business. The lawsuit alleges that as a condition of being accepted into the Alpha fraternity, Tyler and other pledges were forced to participate in activities meant to mentally, physically, and emotionally break them down, including pushing them to exhaustion and causing physical harm.
The lawsuit alleges that the hazing including physical assaults including pledge masters kicking Tyler in the chest. Even after clear warning signs when Tyler was hospitalized a week before his death in a hazing-related incident, Alpha continued to engage in physical and mental abuse towards Tyler.
“We miss our son so much, especially during these holidays. We know that several people out there know what happened to Tyler and what he went through. Please find it in your heart to speak up and help us find the truth,” said Myeasha Kimble, Tyler’s mother.
“Tyler wanted to be part of the Alpha fraternity because of the great work it does for the African American community. He should not have had to give up his life for it,” says civil rights and employment attorney, Toni Jaramilla of Toni Jaramilla, APLC.
“Hazing is unlawful. Yet, fraternities like Alpha continue to abuse young men like Tyler if they want to join. In taking legal action, the Hilliard family is hopeful we can put a stop to this barbaric practice,” says Jim De Simone, civil rights attorney.
Famous alumni of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity include historic leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall and Frederick Douglas. None of them condoned hazing as a requirement to join the fraternity.
WHAT: Press conference announcing lawsuit against Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Pi Epsilon Chapter at UC Riverside.
WHEN: Press Conference on Friday, December 20, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Toni Jaramilla, APLC
1900 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 900
Los Angeles, CA 90067
WHO: Myeasha Kimble and William Hilliard (Parents of deceased Tyler Hilliard)
Toni Jaramilla, Esq. (Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation)
Jim DeSimone, Esq. (V. James Desimone Law)
Najee Ali, civil rights activist