crime and punishment

7 Rochester cops suspended with pay over Daniel Prude’s death

Daniel Prude

Daniel Prude

Daniel Prude of Chicago, Illinois, United States was taken off like support on March 30, 2020. He was in the custody of Rochester Police Department officers in Rochester, New York, United States on March 23, 2020.

On September 3, 2020, Rochester mayor Lovely Warren announced that she suspended the officers involved in Prude’s death. The officers namely Mark Vaughn, Troy Taladay, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris and Sergeant Michael Magri will still receive their salaries during their suspension because of contract rules.

“I am suspending the officers in question today against council’s advice and I urge the attorney general to complete her investigation,” Warren said. “I understand that the union may sue the city for this. They shall feel free to do so. I have been sued before.”

Warren also slammed Rochester police chief La’Ron Singletary, who she said informed her that Prude had an apparent overdose while in custody. According to the mayor, she only learned of the seven Rochester police officers actions on August 4, 2020 when Rochester cooperation council Tim Curtin reviewed the video for the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request by Prude’s family.

 

Born in 1979, Prude was a warehouse worker with five children. He had a clinical history of agitation, combative behavior and suicidal ideation and possible auditory hallucinations and paranoia.

On March 22, 2020, Prude traveled from Chicago to Rochester to visit his older brother Joe D. Prude. As soon as the former arrived, he jumped headfirst down a flight of stairs.

Daniel received a mental health evaluation at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester and was released at 11 p.m. When he returned to Joe’s house, he suffered an acute, manic, psychotic episode.

Joe called the police for help. In the early morning of March 23, 2020, the Rochester Police Department officers arrived along with two emergency medical technicians including Brett Barnes.

A white spit hood was put over Daniel’s head. It was eventually removed when he was unresponsive.

While Daniel was being transported to Strong Memorial Hospital, his heartbeat resumed. He was brain dead when he arrived at the hospital.

Based on the autopsy conducted by the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office, Daniel’s death was a homicide as a result of “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.” Excited delirium and acute intoxication by phencyclidine (PCP) were listed as contributing factors.

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