Home News No indictments for Rochester officers involved in fatal arrest of Daniel Prude,...

No indictments for Rochester officers involved in fatal arrest of Daniel Prude, who was high on PCP

345
0
SHARE


Geoff Herbert

syracuse.com

Protests erupted in Rochester on Tuesday after a grand jury voted to not indict police officers involved in the death of Daniel Prude, an unarmed and naked Black man.

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday afternoon that the Rochester cops who put a hood over Prude’s head and then pressed his body against the pavement until he stopped breathing will not face criminal charges. Prude, 41, died last March; police initially described his death as a drug overdose, but outrage ensued six months later when body camera video showed the full incident.

James said her office “presented the strongest case possible” to the grand jury, but couldn’t persuade it that the officers had committed a crime. She said Prude’s family and the Rochester community are “rightfully” disappointed by the outcome and condemned a system that she said had “frustrated efforts to hold law enforcement officers accountable for the unjustified killing of African Americans.”

The Democrat & Chronicle reports hundreds of protesters took to the streets near the scene of Prude’s death Tuesday night. Some waved Black Lives Matter flags and chanted “No justice, no peace.”

“White supremacy protects white supremacists,” Free the People organizer Stanley Martin told the crowd. “(The system) is not meant to protect us. The system did exactly what it was meant to do.”

The group marched on I-490 despite police objections and made their way to the Public Safety Building in downtown Rochester. Some climbed over barricades but the protest ended just before midnight with no arrests and no apparent clashes with police, according to the D&C.

The Community Justice Initiative and other groups, including BLM, have demanded police reform and called for the introduction of “Daniel’s Law,” which would create a mental health task force with medical personnel specialized in aiding the de-escalation of incidents similar to Prude’s.

Daniel Prude suffered from mental health issues and was under the influence of the hallucinogen phencyclidine, or PCP, when he took off his clothes March 23 and ran naked in the streets of Rochester as a light snow fell. Responding police officers handcuffed him and put a white “spit hood” over his head, designed to protect police from a detainee’s saliva; at the time New York was in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prude became agitated and accused the cops of “trying to kill me.” Officers slammed his head into the street, with one holding his face down against the pavement and another placing a knee on his back; two minutes later, he stopped moving and fell unconscious. Prude was taken off life support a week later.

RPD officers Troy Taladay, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris and Mark Vaughn, along with Sgt. Michael Magri, were suspended after Prude’s death became public in September. The officers remain on leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, according to Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan.

___

(c)2021 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

Visit Syracuse Media Group, N.Y. at www.syracuse.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here