Attorney for Daniel Prude’s family criticizes NY attorney general after Cuomo investigation

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo sparked criticism over her handling of the death of Daniel Prude in Rochester.

Elliot Shields, the Prude family’s lawyer, told NBC News:

"What the investigation into Andrew Cuomo shows is that when her office wants to put resources towards conducting a thorough investigation, they know how to do that. If her office had put the same focus and determination into securing an indictment of the police officers who killed Daniel Prude that they did towards bringing down Andrew Cuomo, they would’ve gotten an indictment."

This month, James’s investigation concluded Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women in and out of state government and worked to retaliate against one of his accusers. The third-term governor denies touching anyone inappropriately or making inappropriate sexual advances towards several staffers. A week after the attorney general’s report was released, Cuomo announced his resignation.

In February, James announced a grand jury chose not to indict the seven Rochester police officers involved in Prude’s death. She said at the time, her office presented an extensive case and sought a different outcome.

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Body camera footage shows Prude pinned to the ground by Rochester police officers on March 23, 2020, on Jefferson Avenue. Prude was not breathing and had no pulse after the officers restrained and handcuffed him. He died seven days later in the hospital after being taken off life support. The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide and said Prude died from complications of asphyxia due to physical restraint, excited delirium, and PCP.

James’ office did not respond to requests for comment on the criticism of her handling of the Prude case.