Black Lives Matter activists, lawyers say man died after RPD arrest
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Black Lives Matter activists held a news conference Wednesday to discuss what they call police brutality by members of the Rochester Police Department.
The state Attorney General’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit, which investigates the deaths of unarmed civilians in police custody, has been looking into the officers’ conduct during an incident involving Daniel Prude, according to an executive order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Prude died March 30 in Monroe County, according to the executive order signed by the governor on July 15.
Members of Free The People Roc say they watched the body cam video of the incident and promised to share it with News10NBC. They say it shows Prude naked and pinned to the ground by three Rochester police officers.
WATCH: Body camera footage (Note: This portion of the footage was provided to News10NBC by the lawyer for Daniel Prude’s family. Graphic portions of the video have been blurred. WARNING: Some viewers might find the language used in this video disturbing.) Mobile users: click here.
Joe Prude says he checked his brother into Strong Memorial Hospital the day before for his mental health, then he was discharged. He called 911 to get help for Daniel and, a short time after that, his brother was dead.
"To treat somebody inhumane like that," Joe said. "If I kill a police what is my sentence? What is their sentence? You killed a defenseless black man. A father’s son, a brother’s brother, a nephew’s uncle."
WATCH: Free The People Roc holds news conference, alleging police brutality
"What Joe is going through, what his family is going through, is incredible pain," the family’s attorney Elliot Shields said. "I watched the video with them. It was one of the most difficult experiences of my life."
Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary and Mayor Lovely Warren responded to the allegations Wednesday afternoon.
Singletary said he immediately ordered criminal and internal investigations following Prude’s death.
Warren described the body cam video as "disturbing." The city is still waiting to hear from the state’s Attorney General’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit, according to the mayor.
WATCH: Mayor Warren, Chief Singletary respond to allegations of police brutality
New York State Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement on the issue:
“The death of Daniel Prude was a tragedy, and I extend my deepest condolences to his family. I share the community’s concerns about ensuring a fair and independent investigation into his death and support their right to protest. Pursuant to Executive Order 147, the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit of my office is already actively investigating this incident. As with every investigation, we will follow the facts of this case and ensure a complete and thorough examination of all relevant parties. We will work tirelessly to provide the transparency and accountability that all our communities deserve.”
The Rochester Police Locust Club, the union which represents Rochester Police said it has no comment on Prude’s death at this time.