Josiah C. Harris is an African-American police officer from Rochester, Monroe County, New York, United States. He was one of the seven Rochester Police Department officers suspended due to their involvement in the arrest of Daniel Prude, an African-American man from Chicago, Illinois, USA, amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020.
Suffering from mental health issues, Prude was in the custody of Vaughn and his fellow Rochester Police Department officers Mark Vaughn, Troy Taladay, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor and Sergeant Michael Magri on March 23, 2020. Prude was having an acute, manic, psychotic episode that day so his older brother Joe D. Prude called the police for help.
Daniel became unresponsive and was sent to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester where he was taken off like support on March 30, 2020. Here are 13 things about Harris:
- He previously lived in Victor, Ontario County, New York.
- In 2001, he graduated from Joseph C. Wilson Magnet High School in Rochester.
- He studied law and criminal justice at Monroe Community College in Rochester.
- He joined the Rochester Police Department on July 30, 2012.
- He and Vaughn were among the four Rochester Police Department officers who assisted Rochester police investigators Scott Ferro and Andy Mackenzie in arresting Phoenix Coley and Brandon Quaresimo on May 11, 2013. The arrestees were charged for their 7-11 convenience store robberies on December 4 and 5, 2012.
- He was one of the Recruit Class 55 graduates who attended the ceremony at Aquinas High School in New York on June 28, 2013. During the ceremony, Rochester mayor Lovely Warren thanked the new officers’ family members in advance for supporting their needs, Democrat and Chronicle reported.
- In 2015, his annual wage was $69,949.
- In 2016, his annual wage was $85,424.
- In 2017, his annual wage was $86,485.
- In 2018, his annual wage was $87,431.
- He was 37 years old when he was involved in the arrest of Daniel on March 23, 2020. He, along with Specksgoor and Magri, stood idly nearby that day while Daniel had his head pushed down against the pavement by Vaughn, back kneeled on by Talladay and legs held by Santiago. At one point during the arrest, he also casually chatted and joked with Vaughn and Talladay.
- On September 3, 2020, Warren announced that he, Vaughn, Taladay, Ricotta, Santiago, Specksgoor and Magri were suspended with pay.
- A grand jury voted not to indict him, Ricotta, Vaughn, Taladay, Santiago, Specksgoor and Magri in Daniel’s death. On February 23, 2021, New York attorney general Letitia James explained, “Daniel Prude was in the throes of a mental health crisis and what he needed was compassion, care and help from trained professionals. Tragically, he received none of those things. We concluded that there was sufficient evidence surrounding Mr. Prude’s death to warrant presenting the case to a grand jury and we presented the most comprehensive case possible.”