“Daniel Prude was within the throes of a psychological well being disaster and what he wanted was compassion, care, and assist from skilled professionals. Tragically, he obtained none of these issues,” James mentioned in an announcement. “We concluded that there was enough proof surrounding Mr. Prude’s dying to warrant presenting the case to a grand jury, and we offered essentially the most complete case doable.
“Whereas I do know that the Prude household, the Rochester neighborhood, and communities throughout the nation will rightfully be devastated and disenchanted, now we have to respect this choice,” James added.
Attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, who’re representing Prude’s household, mentioned they’re “deeply disenchanted that the officers won’t face felony expenses for killing Daniel Prude throughout what was clearly a psychological well being disaster as he lay bare within the chilly streets with a spit hood they positioned over his head.”
“This tragedy might have been prevented if officers had been correctly skilled but additionally used fundamental human decency and customary sense to deal with Mr. Prude with compassion and get him the medical consideration he deserved,” the attorneys mentioned in an announcement. “We are going to proceed to advocate for justice within the civil courts, whereas additionally looking for federal police reform in order that these continued tragedies towards Black residents finish as soon as and for all.”
James mentioned legal guidelines on lethal drive have “created a system that completely and abjectly failed Mr. Prude and so many others earlier than him.”
“Critical reform is required, not solely on the Rochester Police Division, however to our felony justice system as an entire,” mentioned James, who began an investigation of the case in April.
Police sprint and physique digicam footage, launched to the general public months after the incident, confirmed officers handcuffing a unadorned Prude and overlaying his head with a “spit sock” after he claimed he had the coronavirus and was spitting.
The officers held him and pushed him to the bottom in a susceptible place, in response to the video, which additionally confirmed officers kneeling on Prude.
EMTs arrived later and started to carry out chest compressions, the video confirmed. Prude was positioned on a gurney and into an ambulance.
When Prude arrived on the hospital, he was brain-dead, in response to his brother. He died per week later.
Seven law enforcement officials concerned within the arrest have been suspended. The police union has insisted the officers adopted their coaching and protocols.
Prude, 41, was having a psychological well being episode on March 23 when his brother Joe known as the Rochester Police Division for assist, his household informed reporters.
Prude’s dying was dominated a murder by the Monroe County Medical expert, in response to a duplicate of the post-mortem report obtained by legal professionals for his household. The report cited issues of asphyxia within the setting of bodily restraint as a discovering. The report additionally cited excited delirium and acute PCP intoxication as causes of dying.
Members of the family linked his March dying — two months earlier than George Floyd’s dying in comparable circumstances — to the motion towards police violence towards Black individuals. Protests erupted in Rochester after the physique cam footage was launched.
The dying additionally raised questions on how police reply to instances involving individuals in a psychological well being disaster. Police are sometimes the primary to answer studies of an individual performing erratically, and so they sometimes use police techniques or drive of their response.
The Rochester Metropolis Council in September licensed subpoena energy to a New York Metropolis regulation agency main the unbiased investigation into town’s dealing with of the case — significantly whether or not there was inner cover-up, and the way details about Prude’s dying was saved from the general public within the metropolis in western New York.
In September, town launched 325 pages of inner emails, police studies and different paperwork that confirmed a concerted effort by police and metropolis officers to delay the discharge of incriminating physique digicam footage.
In a single launched police incident report, amongst many edits, some prosaic, Prude’s identify is written within the house labeled “Sufferer.” Prude’s identify is circled in pink, subsequent to a big, handwritten be aware: “Make him a suspect.”
Rochester Mayor Pretty Warren pushed out the police chief forward of his retirement and suspended two different metropolis staff.
Prude’s sister in September filed swimsuit in federal court docket towards the previous police chief, 13 officers and town, claiming partly a division cover-up of the dying.
The previous police chief, La’Ron Singletary, mentioned earlier this month that he did not see something “egregious” or any felony conduct from law enforcement officials when he first watched physique digicam video of the incident. He testified in a digital deposition to an unbiased investigator.