biographical facts

Mark Vaughn biography: 13 things about Rochester cop who held down Daniel Prude’s head

Mark Vaughn

Mark Vaughn

Mark T. Vaughn is a police officer from Rochester, New York, United States. He was one of the seven Rochester Police Department officers suspended due to their involvement in the death of Daniel Prude, an African-American man from Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Suffering from mental health issues, Prude was in the custody of Vaughn and his fellow Rochester Police Department officers Troy Taladay, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris and Sergeant Michael Magri on March 23, 2020. When Prude was having an acute, manic, psychotic episode that day, his older brother Joe D. Prude called the police for help.

With both hands and his full body weight, Vaughn pushed the side of Daniel’s head into the pavement, which was similar to a triangle push-up. In the report the cop wrote of the incident, he claimed that he had “segmented” Daniel’s head and he used a hypoglossal nerve technique, which involves jamming fingers into a nerve below the jaw to cause pain and persuade a subject to comply.

“My man, you puking?” Vaughn asked Daniel. “Ah, man. Do you see all that water coming out? It’s just straight water.”

Noticing that Daniel did not have chest compressions at 3:22 a.m. on March 23, 2020, Vaughn instructed his fellow cops to roll the prone man. Vaughn took his hands off Daniel’s head, tapped him and asked, “You good, man?”

The encounter ended with Daniel being unresponsive and sent to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He was taken off like support on March 30, 2020.

On September 3, 2020, Rochester mayor Lovely Warren announced that Vaughn, Taladay, Ricotta, Santiago, Specksgoor, Harris and Magri were suspended with pay. Here are 13 things about Vaughn:

  1. He and Harris 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.
  2. In 2015, his annual wage was $68,724.
  3. In 2016, his annual wage was $79,053.
  4. In 2017, his annual wage was $83,950.
  5. In 2018, his annual wage was $89,031.
  6. He stopped Daniel by pointing a Taser at him before ordering him to lay on the ground and put his hands behind his back. He handcuffed Daniel while the latter was lying on his stomach.
  7. After handcuffing Daniel, he returned to his squad car and used hand sanitizer on his gloved hands. While walking back to Daniel, he said, “That was easy and fast.”
  8. He asked Daniel, “Sir, you don’t got AIDS, do you?”
  9. He told Daniel to “calm down” and “stop spitting.” He pulled one spit hood out of his pocket and put it over Daniel’s head after the latter repeatedly spat on the ground.
  10. He and Taladay pinned Daniel down. The prone man begged the two cops to get off him.
  11. He casually chatted and joked with Harris, Specksgoor, Magri and Talladay while Daniel was dying.
  12. After pushing down Daniel’s head for 2 minutes 15 seconds, he let up and asked the prone man, “You good now?” When Daniel did not answer him, he resumed pushing with one hand for 45 more seconds.
  13. He walked back to his squad car to get more hand sanitizer while the two emergency medical technicians at the scene were performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Daniel.

(This is a developing story. More details will be added as soon as they are available.)

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