Here Come More Riots: Rochester Police Chief Resigns as Tension Over Daniel Prude’s Death Intensifies

Posted: Sep 08, 2020 5:15 PM
Here Come More Riots: Rochester Police Chief Resigns as Tension Over Daniel Prude’s Death Intensifies

Source: AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

In March, Daniel Prude died after being detained by police in Rochester, New York. They placed a “spit hood” over his head. He suffocated and died. Prude appears to not have been of sound mind at the time of his apprehension. He was naked, walking in the middle of the street, and had been hospitalized for suicidal thoughts. Several officers were suspended in the wake of the surveillance footage of the incident (via CBS News):

Seven police officers in Rochester, New York, were suspended with pay on Thursday over the March death of 41-year-old Daniel Prude. But Prude's 18-year-old daughter Tashyra, who described her father as "a family man" and a "protector," told CBS News the suspensions were a "slap in the face."

"[The suspension] is just a slap in the face, especially with pay," Tashyra said. "There's footage of officers murdering an unarmed Black man who was handcuffed with a spit bag over his head, meaning he cannot attack anyone."


Prude's death was not widely known until his family shared body camera footage of the incident on Wednesday. The footage showed officers encountering Prude naked in the street, after his family called 911 to report that he'd gone missing after he'd been hospitalized for suicidal thoughts. The officers handcuffed him, put a spit hood over his head, and pressed his face into the ground for more than three minutes. 

Prude was transported to the hospital and died seven days later, according to the medical examiner's report. The report called Prude's death a homicide, and attributed it to "complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint," as well as "excited delirium" and PCP intoxication.

Yes, rioters were out in the streets days later. It’s become quite intense in upstate New York. And now, as New York’s attorney general says she wants a grand jury impaneled and allegations of a cover-up flying, the city’s police chief and most of the senior staff have resigned (via Associated Press):

Top police leaders in Rochester announced their retirements Tuesday amid nightly protests over the city’s handling of the suffocation death of Daniel Prude, with the outgoing chief accusing critics of trying to “destroy my character and integrity.”

Chief La’Ron Singletary and Deputy Chief Joseph M. Morabito released emailed statements confirming their retirements. Mayor Lovely Warren told city council members in an online briefing that she believes the entire command staff decided to retire.

The sudden announcements came more than five months after the death of Prude, a 41-year-old Black man who died several days after an encounter with police March 23. There have been nightly protests in Rochester, New York’s third-largest city, since the video’s release Wednesday. Prude’s family filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday alleging the police department sought to cover up the true nature of Prude’s death.

“The events over the past week are an attempt to destroy my character and integrity,” Singletary said in a prepared statement. “The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and know what I stand for. The mischaracterization and the politicization of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr. Prude’s death is not based on facts, and is not what I stand for.”

More riots are coming probably. For the progressive Left, here’s to revolution, right? For Democrats trying to win this election, well, that could shift more suburban and independent voters away from Mr. Joe Biden.

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