23:23 GMT30 September 2020
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    Rochester, New York, Mayor Lovely Warren on Thursday ordered the immediate suspension of the police officers involved in the death of 41-year-old Black man Daniel Prude in March.

    "I am suspending the officers in question today against the advice of [the city] council, and I urge the [New York] Attorney General to complete her investigation. I understand that the union may sue the city for this; they shall feel free to do so," Warren said during a briefing, Rochester First reported.

    “Mr. Daniel Prude was failed by our police department, our mental health care system, our society, and he was failed by me. Daniel Prude’s death has proven yet again that many of the challenges that we faced in the past are the same challenges that we face today,” Warren added.
    In this image taken from police body camera video provided by Roth and Roth LLP, Rochester police officers hold down Daniel Prude on March 23, 2020, in Rochester, N.Y.
    © AP Photo / Rochester Police via Roth and Roth LLP
    In this image taken from police body camera video provided by Roth and Roth LLP, Rochester police officers hold down Daniel Prude on March 23, 2020, in Rochester, N.Y.

    “In addition I have addressed with the police chief [La’Ron Singletary] how deeply, personally and professionally disappointing - he needs to do better to truly protect and serve our community, and I believe he will. I have since order[ed] the chief to provide me with video from any in-custody death, or use of force incident, within 24 hours, and charge him to provide a plan within 30 days to further address the police department’s response to mental health calls,” Warren continued.

    Prude died in March in the upstate New York city after police restrained him on the ground and covered his head with a hood.

    Body camera footage of the incident was released Wednesday. Warren also stated during the Thursday briefing that she wasn’t aware of what happened until August 4.

    Three of the officers named in the police report about the incident are Mark Vaughn, Troy Taladay and Fransisco Santiago. All seven officers involved have been suspended without pay. 

    An autopsy report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Prude’s death a homicide, stating that his cause of death included “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint,” Rochester First reported.

    According to his family’s lawyers, Prude was going through an “acute, manic, psychotic episode” at the time of the incident. Joe Prude called the Rochester Police Department for assistance at 3 a.m. on March 23 after his brother ran out the back door while Joe wasn’t in the room. Police found Prude running naked through the streets of Rochester at around 3:15 a.m., and he complied with officers when they told him to lie on the ground and place his hands behind his back. 

    Officers handcuffed him, and when Prude appeared to spit at the cops, they placed a hood over his head. An officer held his head down while another knelt on his back. After being pinned down for several minutes, Prude lost consciousness. Paramedics eventually arrived at the scene, and Prude was soon thereafter pronounced brain dead at a local hospital. He died on March 30.


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