Daniel Prude, who was naked, bleeding from cut glass, and high on PCP when he was arrested by police in Rochester, New York around 3 a.m. local time on the near-freezing night of March 23rd, was pronounced dead seven days later in a nearby hospital. It's not the ideal allegation of police brutality, but Black Lives Matters activists are running with it nonetheless.
A protest over Prude's death, fueled by recently-released bodycam footage, turned violent in New York Thursday night and early Friday morning, with two officers reportedly injured and eight suspects arrested in a protest marked by arson, vandalism, and looting.
In March, Police received reports of a man, matching Daniel Prude's description, breaking a window in the nearby area. Prude's own brother, Joe, called 911 for help, telling police that Prude was acting suicidal and had thrown himself "head first" down 21-flights of stairs. Joe was also worried that his brother may have jumped in front of a train.
Bodycam footage of the 41-year-old's arrest was recently released, showing officers placing a spit shield over Prude's head. Prude had refused to stop spitting and told officers he had the coronavirus.
After Prude demanded officers give him a gun, threatened to "kill everybody in that house" and defiantly stood up from the ground, officers restrained the high, erratic, and apparently homicidal Prude by lowering him back to a prone position, where an individual is much less likely to harm himself and others.
When paramedics arrived on scene, one paramedic told officers that she was giving Prude something to help calm him down. Officers told the paramedic that Prude may be on PCP and stated that he had the coronavirus.
At 3:22 a.m., an officer asks Prude, "You good, man?" When Prude didn't respond, an officer states that Prude is puking "straight water." One minute later, when Prude appears to no longer have chest compressions, the officer instructs others to help roll Prude on to his side. Prude remains unresponsive and appears limp. At 3:24 p.m., after one paramedic shouts to another for help, Prude is turned over and administered CPR. Prude's cuffs are removed and the suspect is placed on a gurney.
According to a copy of the autopsy report obtained by Prude's family lawyers, the Monroe County Medical Examiner ruled Prude's death a homicide, citing complications of PCP intoxication, excited delirium, and asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.
So maybe it's a homicide in the sense that Prude's drug dealer provided him with PCP. But activists are pointing to the cops, who, true, did restrain Prude when he didn't comply, as they do with all suspects who want to break into a house and "kill everybody" inside. But the cops also helped paramedics render assistance when Prude suddenly became unresponsive. Joe is accusing the cops of "lynching" his brother and has called the death a "cold-blooded murder."
Both local and national media have completely mistrusted the facts in the case to support the Black Lives Matter narrative that white cops have once again killed an "unarmed black man" in their custody. As is clear from the bodycam footage, Prude's death is a tragic death alright, but one whose fault lay in the dangerous drug he was on, the suicidal and homicidal behavior it caused, and the deadly effect that drug and past drug abuse may have had on Prude's body.
And it's hard to imagine the police would have acted any differently had Prude been white. If the police didn't restrain Prude, there's no telling how Prude may have harmed himself or others. Joe had called the police because he feared his brother may have been struck by a passing train. Remember, Prude was trying to kill himself and made a statement about killing people inside a home.
"We don't know what to do with him because of that stuff he was on," Joe's wife told an officer after the arrest.
The police are damned if they do and damned if they don't. The media shouldn't be a stooge for the Marxist Black Lives Matter crowd.