The Mayor of Rochester, New York, has called for a federal investigation into the death of Daniel Prude, who was choked by police officers on the street about six months ago.
According to News 8, Mayor Lovely Warren revealed his request for a federal investigation on Monday, saying he freed Rochester Police Chief La’One Singleri from his duties on September 21.
Singletary announced his retirement last week, along with several other members of the police department. His last day was supposed to be September 29.
Warren also revealed on Monday that the city’s communications director, Justin Rose, and its municipal attorney, Tim Curtin, have been suspended without pay for 30 days.
Rochester has ended nearly two weeks of protests since Rochester made public a video of 41-year-old Prude’s fatal encounter with police on 2 September following the mayor’s disclosure.
Prude’s family filed a civil lawsuit against the city, alleging that its leaders and the police department covered the details of her death.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren (left) called for a federal investigation into the death of Daniel Prude (right) on Monday, who was stabbed to death by police officers on the street in March.
Warren orders Police Chief Lauren Singletary (pictured) to step down immediately
Warren told reporters at a press conference, ‘I have directed the deputy mayor to initiate an internal management review of the city to deal with mental hygiene arrests and the subsequent death of Daniel Prude.
‘Obviously the public should have been informed of Mr. Prude’s death and the circumstances following his death in March, and after watching the video, I should have done a formal review.’
The mayor continued: ‘It has been revealed, initially, that we have a widespread problem in the Rochester Police Department, one that sees everything through the eyes of a badge and not the citizens we serve.
‘I have apologized to the Proud family and this community for the failures along the way, including my own as mayor. Never can we allow any man or woman to die unnecessarily in police custody. ‘
Warren then revealed that he has asked the US Attorney’s Office to investigate ‘possible violations of Mr Prud’s civil rights’.
“This tragic loss of life has shown that we have systemic failures,” she said.
‘We have to accept these failures and implement these forms that create transparency. We will meet again in a few days when I answer any questions you have.
Prude was naked and in handcuffs when a ‘spit hood’ was put on his head during his arrest on March 23 – his brother sought help for his misbehavior since 911
Paramedics arrived as Prud was dropped on the floor, still wearing a ‘spit’
The New York State Attorney General’s Office opened its investigation into Prude’s death after the video went public.
Authorities responded to a 911 call made by his brother on March 23, seeking help for Prude’s erratic behavior.
Prude, who had mental health problems, was naked at the time of his arrest, and was handcuffed and pinned down with a ‘spit hood’ placed over his head on the pavement as authorities stopped him for two minutes Until she gave up.
He was dropped from life support on March 30, a week after his arrest.
The autopsy report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office said Prude’s death was caused by ‘complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint’.
The autopsy also revealed that Prude had a small amount of PCP in his system at the time of his death, which could explain his misbehavior.
Seven Rochester police officers have been suspended with pay in relation to the case: Mark Vaughan, Troy Talada, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specsgur, Josiah Harris and Michael Magri.
Shortly after Warren’s press conference on Monday, the city’s communications director, Rose, responded to his suspension without payment in a statement.
He said, “I accept the discipline issued by Mayor Warren today.” ‘Some time ago, before August 4, did I know what had happened to Mr. Prude, and when I saw the video I immediately expressed an opinion within City Hall that the officers involved should no longer be on our streets.
‘I personally believe that Mr. Prude would be alive today if the responding officers recognized his humanity and acted with kindness and restraint.’
Rose said he did not disclose the existence of the video after publicly watching it as he was informed that the investigation was ongoing and did not want to obstruct it.
He said, “I think I agree that I should inquire the Chief Minister further and take the opportunity to discuss his email with the Mayor.”
Prude’s family held a ceremony in Rochester in his honor on September 10 (pictured)