What People Are Ignoring About Why Police Put Hood on Black Man Who Later Died

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Posted: Sep 04, 2020 8:25 AM

Protests have erupted in upstate New York after video of a black man who died after an encounter with police in March was released Wednesday. 

According to many news reports and people spreading word of the death on social media, Daniel Prude, 41, died a week after police “put a hood over his head and pressed his face into the pavement” for two minutes. 

How about some context? 

Prude's brother called police about his behavior because he was having a mental health crisis. Prude, high on PCP, left his brother’s house in freezing temperatures with only a few items of clothing on, but then proceeded to strip naked as he walked the streets. According to police, he smashed widows along the way. A passing tow truck driver called 911 to report his behavior and told police he was covered in blood. 

When officers approached him with a taser, they told him to get on the ground with his hands behind his back. He did comply and one of the officers put handcuffs on him. Now, here is the part many are leaving out about the encounter: “Prude spat, yelled and told the cops that he had COVID-19,” according to the Daily Mail, which is why they put the spit hood on him. This was back in March when coronavirus hit New York hard. 

The hood enraged Prude, who yelled at the officers to give him their gun. They pushed him to the ground and pinned him there for over two minutes until they noticed water coming from his mouth. 

“My man. You puking?” one officer says.

Another notes that he feels cold and has been outside in freezing temperatures naked for awhile. 

The EMT who arrived told police PCP intoxication causes “excited delirium” and that’s likely why he coded. “It’s not your fault, guys,” the EMT said.  

He died a week later after he was pulled off life support.