Rochester Mayor, Police Union Spar Over Body Camera Footage

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Posted: Sep 11, 2020 10:30 AM
Rochester Mayor, Police Union Spar Over Body Camera Footage

Source: AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

As we reported a few days ago, City Hall and police leaders in Rochester, NY are trading calls for resignation as they've now entered the eighth straight day of protests following the police death of 41-year-old black man Daniel Prude. Prude, who was reportedly not of sound mind when police arrested him in March, placed a “spit hood” over his head and pressed his head to the ground for three minutes. He suffocated and died in the hospital a week later. Once more information and footage of the incident came out last week, seven officers were suspended with pay. And, in the light of character assassinations, both Police Chief La’Ron Singletary and Deputy Chief Joseph M. Morabito resigned.

Mike Mazzeo, president of the Rochester Police Locust Club, said Mayor Lovely Warren is the one who should have stepped down. But she countered with a demand of her own. It's Mazzeo who should resign, because, she alleged, he saw the body camera footage of how roughly police handled Prude when he was in their custody, and he "saw nothing wrong."

“For 30 years, the problem with policing in Rochester are cops like Mike Mazzeo that watch the video of Daniel Prude’s death and see nothing wrong," Warren stated.

In a statement responding to her allegations, Mazzeo insists that the police union "had no information" that there was any need for an internal investigation. He adds that the first time he ever saw the footage was on September 2.

"For City Hall to suggest that this is some type of cover-up, with her own appointed Chief of Staff, is absurd," he writes.

Protesters took over downtown for the eighth night in a row on Thursday, with some even staging a naked sit-in at City Hall wearing "spit hoods." Others have harassed outdoor diners or attacked police.