Daniel Proud video stopped by Rochester police, documents show


According to recently released documents and the city’s mayor, police officers in Rochester ended the police department’s March conversation with Daniel Prude and moved through the months about handling the case out of apparent fear of backlash.

The incident – an unfortunate and tragic situation – was removed from the outset as a PCP overdose, a day after Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced his office to WHEC-TV on Tuesday. Suspension of corporation consultant Tim Curtin and communications director Justin Rose. He named Deputy Chief Mark Simmons the interim head of the department.

On Monday, Warren’s office released 325 pages of documents relating to March 2020 in which 41-year-old Prude died. The shakeup was released around the same time Warren announced the shakeup.

(Via Rochester Police Roth and Roth LLP AP)”/>

FILE – In this image of a police body camera video provided by Roth and Roth LLP on 2, 2020, a Rochester police officer puts a spit hood over the head of Daniel Prude after a March 23, 2020, Rochester, NY. Police say Prude claimed to be coronovirus.
(Via Rochester Police Roth and Roth LLP AP)

Documents show that police officers sought to deny a request made by Daniel Prud’s brother Joe Prud’s attorney to release body-camera footage from the arrest. He referred to “the current climate in this city and nation” as his reason.

“We certainly do not want people to misinterpret the actions of the authorities and expose the incident with any recent killing of unarmed black men by law enforcement,” Simmons wrote in a June 4 email to Singleri Was. “This would simply be a false narrative, and could result in enmity and a potentially violent setback in this community.”

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On June 4, Lt. Mike Perkowski told a city attorney that he was “very concerned about releasing it in light of what’s happening ahead of time” and Capt. Frank Ambrino told another police officer, ” Any information must be coordinated in the release and combination. As Mayor and Chief it is very well [sic] Some profound effects

According to the documents released on Monday, Simmons sent both emails with his message to Singleri, advising the chief to request public records of the Prud family’s attorney. Simmons suggested that the city reject the request because the case was being investigated by the state attorney general’s office.

Rochester Police Chief L'On Singletary, right, seen before a community meeting in Rochester, NY, Thursday, September 3, 2020.  (AP Photo / Adrian Crass)

Rochester Police Chief L’On Singletary, right, seen before a community meeting in Rochester, NY, Thursday, September 3, 2020. (AP Photo / Adrian Crass)

Singletary replied: “I completely agree.”

Later, on June 4, as the discussion of the record request continued, city attorney Stephanie Prince told Curtin that one way to buy more time was to allow the attorney general’s office to show the video to Prud’s family, as That has been done in other cases. , But do not give them a copy.

“As such, the city has not been releasing anything related to the case for at least a month (at most 2), and it will not be publicly available,” Prince wrote.

The video was eventually released for the family of Prude, who made it public in early September.

Daniel Prude was handcuffed by police at 3:20 am on March 23, when his brother called the police to take him to the hospital, where he had been hours earlier.

“Around 3am Daniel was again acting very strange – he ran out my back door wearing only a tank top and some long johns,” which Prude later wrote in a supporting statement released in the Tribute of Documents. “I called the police again so that they could find him and take him to the hospital.”

The footage depicts Nude naked and wearing a net, sitting on the street, known as a spit above his head. During the conversation, one officer can be seen pressing his knee on Prude’s back, while the other pushes his face onto the pavement. He reportedly held Proud for about 2 minutes, but later realized that he did not have a pulse and began CPR.

He was removed from life support on 30 March.

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A medical examiner concluded that Prude’s death was a murder caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint”. The report lists delirium and acute intoxication stimulated by phytoclidine or PCP as contributing factors.

Prude was from Chicago and went to Rochester on March 22 to meet his brother. According to a previously released internal affairs investigator’s report, Prude was unloaded from the train before arriving in Rochester for “his unruly behavior”.

Hours later, Prude was rushed to the hospital before going to his brother’s house. On March 23, at around 3 a.m., he ran through his brother’s back door.

Police met with him soon after making his way to a phone store where he possibly “threw a cinder block through the store window before being seen by a tow truck driver.” Police said the tow truck driver described Prude as blood-soaked, naked, and stated that he had told the driver that he had coronavirus.

FILE - Daniel Proud is shown in this undated file photo provided by Roth and Roth LLP.  Prud, 41, succumbed to police in Rochester, NY "Spit on" According to the medical examiner, on his head while in custody.  (Courtesy Roth and Roth LLP via AP, File)

FILE – Daniel Proud is shown in this undated file photo provided by Roth and Roth LLP. According to the medical examiner, 41-year-old Prude succumbed to police injuries in Rochester while a “spit hood” was placed over his head. (Courtesy Roth and Roth LLP via AP, File)

Body camera footage showed Proud being heard lying on the ground with handcuffs and could be heard screaming and screaming for several minutes before remaining silent. Police can be heard commenting that he appeared to vomit in the water. He then realizes that he has stopped breathing.

In the video, someone can be heard calling the paramedic, whom Prud was presumably experiencing “excited delirium” as a result of the PCP that he was believed to have taken.

“I guarantee you why he coded,” the woman can be heard saying.

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Documents reveal that in the days and weeks following Prude’s arrest and eventual death, police officers went back and forth about the narrative related to the conversation.

At least one person had revised the paperwork and, using red ink, wrote, “Make him a suspect” next to a part of the police report that described Prud as “personal-I” is.

Someone later wrote in red ink that Proud’s police story should also include theft because “during the day the video is recovered, breaks the window and shows the location.”

The red ink later requests that a line be added to the narrative to tell Prude how Prud wore a spit hood, which in documents is called “a spit sock,” a virus including “coronovirus” Because of its ability to contract. ”

Warren consistently stated that he did not watch the video until the city’s lawyers played it for him on August 4, and Singleri initially misled him about the circumstances of Prude’s death.

After watching the video, the mayor emailed Singletary that he is “angry” at the conduct of the officer who pressed Prude’s head against Mark Vaughan, on the ground, and should face an immediate disciplinary investigation.

Rochester, Mayor Lovely Warren, left, Rochester, NY, speaks to the media during a press conference on Thursday, September 3, 2020.  (AP Photo / Adrian Crass)

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, left, Rochester, NY, speaks to the media during a press conference on Thursday, September 3, 2020. (AP Photo / Adrian Crass)

In an unsolicited draft of that email, Warren left Singletary to “grossly undermine” Prud’s death, describing it as a “drug overdose”. In the draft, drawn with the help of Deputy Mayor James Smith, Warren said she strongly believed Vaughn should be fired and asked for his termination in March, had he seen the footage then. He suspended Vaughan and six other officers last week.

A cursory management review conducted by Smith on the city’s handling of Prude’s death found that the release of body camera video was halted due to concerns about optics costs, as the city improved relations between police and the public Has done “considerable damage” to the making. .

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“It is hard to argue that anyone who watched the video of Mr. Proud’s encounter with RPD did not equate these events with the mention of outright bad publicity, politics, the process, or an ‘inaccurate narrative’.” ” “Rochester is in dire need of therapy. We missed about six months’ chance of starting that process. ”

Singletary announced his retirement on 8 September as part of a shakeup leading the city’s police leadership. The outgoing chief, who planned to remain at the end of the month, accused critics of trying to “destroy my character and integrity”.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.