Baton Rouge Reels In Aftermath Of Ambush Shooting Killing Three Police Officers
Getty Images

Death Of UC Riverside Student Under Investigation For Hazing

An investigation of the death of a 20-year-old UC Riverside student who collapsed last weekend during a fraternity outing.

An investigation into the death of a 20-year-old UC Riverside student who collapsed last weekend during a fraternity outing is currently underway by local authorities, the Los Angeles Times reports.  

Tyler Hilliard, who would have been a junior at the California school studying engineering, was interested in joining the black fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha — members include public figures from civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. to journalist Roland Martin to Omari Hardwick of Power fame. Hilliard's family said he started going through the pledging process for the Black Greek Letter Organization (BGLO) in July 2018 and endured a series of hazing acts by the members.

The student's mother, Myeasha Kimble-Hilliard, who was supportive of his decision, told the news publication, “I’m not saying that his death was a direct result of hazing. I don’t know that for sure. But I believe something happened that led up to his death.” 

The incident began Saturday at 9 p.m. at a local hiking spot in the area known as Mount Rubidoux. Hilliard complained of shortness of breath and collapsed as his group was planning to run. His mom said that the fraternity pledge master called 911. The rest of Hilliard's family said they later found text messages on his phone referring to the hiking trip as “gold paddle day.”

Hilliard was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead not too long after.

Through the messages, Kimble-Hilliard discovered that her son was forced to eat an entire onion covered in hot sauce, forced to drink copious amounts of water and paddled with a piece of cactus; all a part of the fraternity pledging process.

The group rushed Hilliard to the hospital a week before, complaining of chest pain that came after eating the onion and was later released being prescribed heartburn medication.

The Riverside police have labeled his death as suspicious. Both UC Riverside and Alpha Phi Alpha have released statements in response to this tragedy. 

“The UC Riverside community grieves the loss of our student Tyler Hilliard. We’ve shared our condolences and offer of support with Tyler’s family and have made counseling services available to students, faculty or staff who knew him. UCR Student Affairs and UCPD are collaborating with the Riverside Police Department to determine the circumstances regarding Tyler’s passing.”

James R. Riley, who sits as Executive Director & COO of Alpha Phi Alpha national headquarters, released a statement on their website saying: “The Fraternity shares our deepest condolences to his family, loved ones and the entire university community, as their loss is unimaginable.”

This incident doesn't mark the first time a BGLO has been put under blast by the public for hazing acts that are physical, emotional and mental against any student who wishes to join. 

In March 2017, Trevor Jackson portrayed a fictional HBCU student who was the subject of aggressive hazing during his pledging process in the Netflix movie Burning Sands. Ironically, it was directed by Gerard McMurray who is a brother of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

READ MORE: UNC Men’s Basketball Team And Alpha Phi Alpha Step In Honor Of Stuart Scott

From the Web

More on Vibe

Stephen Maturen

A Florida Deputy Was Reassigned, Not Fired, After Video Shows Him Punching A Teen

A Florida deputy was reassigned, not fired after cellphone footage showed him throwing a teen to the ground and punching him in the head.

Broward County Sheriff's deputies were responding to a fight that occurred between a large group of students in the Tamarac shopping plaza. According to reports, after the group was told to leave, one male teen wearing a tank top was trespassing and arrested.

The violent interaction between the black minor and white officer was caught on cellphone footage and showed Deputy Christopher Krickovich pepper spraying the boy before he was shoved to the ground and punched in the head.

Krickovich said in his statement that he saw the teen in the tank pick up the cellphone of the teen arrested and take an "aggressive stance" toward another member of law enforcement. He claimed he feared the boy would grab one of his weapons from his belt or vest after he was pushed to the ground.

“At this point, his left arm was free and next to him, while he placed his arm under his face," Krickovich's report said. "I struck the male in the right side of his head with a closed fist as a distractionary technique to free his right hand."

Since the video went viral, Krickovich was placed on administrative assignment. Many after seeing the violent encounter took to social media demanding the officer be terminated.

This is police brutality. https://t.co/ldG7rnTVA3

— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) April 20, 2019

https://twitter.com/itsgabrielleu/status/1119721327466668032

Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen released a statement condemning the actions and calling for his termination.

"After being sprayed, the teen held his face and walked away," Bogen said. "If the deputy wanted to arrest the student, he could have easily done so without throwing him to the ground."

Continue Reading
Spencer Weiner-Pool

South Carolina Baby Dies In Burning Car After Father Abandons Car In Police Chase

A South Carolina man has been charged with homicide by child abuse after police say he fled his vehicle that burst into flames killing his year old daughter.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Imhotep Osiris Norman reportedly broke down in tears during his bond hearing Saturday. (April 13)

According to law enforcement at about 10:20 PM Friday, a state trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol attempted to pull Norman over on Highway 14 near the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

Norman was doing 67 mph in a 45-mph zone.

When the car didn't stop. Seventh Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette said Norman's vehicle began to spark and smoke during the pursuit.

As the car approached the 58-mile marker on Interstate 85, troopers say they saw a large bag be thrown from the window. A few minutes later, the car was totally engulfed in flames. The car reportedly slowed down and troopers attempted to block the road before Norman escaped.

After the fire extinguished investigators found Norman's 1-year-old daughter, Xena Rah’Lah Norman dead in the backseat.

In court, Norman alleges he didn't know the car was on fire.  “I would never leave my daughter,” Norman said. “I would have gotten my daughter out of that car.”

Norman's mother Sharon Mathesis said she doesn't believe the cops version of events. “My son loved his daughter and would have never let this happen,” Mathis said. “He loved her so much. He loved her so much.”

If convicted, Norman faces 20 years in prison.

Continue Reading
FLINT, MI - FEBRUARY 7: The Flint River with downtown behind is shown on February 7, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. Months ago the city told citizens they could use tap water if they boiled it first, but now say it must be filtered to remove lead. (Photo by Sarah Rice/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Flint Receives Remaining $77.7 Million Of Federal Funds To Improve Water Infrastructure

As the city of Flint, Mich. marks the five-year anniversary of the Flint Water Crisis, the city is set to receive $77.7 million in federal funding.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced the funding Monday (April 15),  as part of a $140 million loan to be allocated to Flint, East Lansing and Monroe County.  The funds for Flint are the remaining portion of a $120 million loan granted to the city in 2017, Mlive reports.

“While we are grateful for this funding it’s important to understand it's not new funding,” said Flint’s Director of Public Works Rob Bincsik. “The federal government awarded this funding and is utilizing the MDEQ’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund as the mechanism to disperse it to the City of Flint.”

Flint won’t have to pay back the funding as the loan is being offered at a “zero percent interest rate with 100-percent principal loan forgiveness.” The funds, which are aimed at improving infrastructure needs and ensuring long-term water quality,” will cover “the completion of a secondary water source pipeline,” in addition to improvements of reservoir and pump stations, construction of a chemical feed building, and replacement of water mains and meters.

East Lansing will receive a $51.7 million loan that includes $2.1 million in “principal forgiveness funds” for collection system improvements, a new pump station, and upgrades to the Water Resource Recovery Facility. Monroe County will get $10.2 million to upgrade and repair the Bedford Township Wastewater Treatment Plant. The funds will also support rehabbing lineal sewer pipes.

Continue Reading

Top Stories