Daniel Prude’s family lawyer on lawsuit against RPD chief, other officers

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary put in his retirement papers the same day he and a whole slew of RPD brass and officers got sued in federal court by the family of Daniel Prude.

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean asked Elliot Shields, their lawyer, what his reaction was when he learned the chief is leaving.

"We thought it was a good first step but there is a lot more work to do," Shields said.

Shields is the attorney for the estate of Daniel Prude.

He was on the steps of city hall when the story broke last week.

He got the city to release the RPD body camera video.

Now he’s filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city, Chief Singletary, Dep. Chief Mark Simmons, the officers involved in the incident and the RPD investigators who did the internal investigation.

Their report said the actions of the officers was "appropriate and consistent with their training."

"And we need an answer to that because anyone that watches the video can see — if that’s appropriate, if that’s consistent with their training then we need a complete top to bottom reform in the Rochester Police Department," Shields said.

The lawsuit is 82 pages long.

It alleges RPD’s strategy was to "blame the victim" … "In an attempt to cover up the fact that he was murdered."

It says the officers involved have refused to be interviewed by the State Attorney General’s Office.

It details previous arrests like the one of Christopher Pate in 2018.

It also details two arrests that happened after the death of Daniel Prude — one in June, the other in July — that the lawsuit described as involving excessive force.

"We need everyone to go,” Shields said. “We need the department to be reformed from top to bottom. We need it to be defunded. And we need it to be replaced with something that actually protects the community."

News10NBC asked Shields if he thinks the mayor should resign. He said that’s up to the voters of the city.

On Sunday, Brean asked the mayor if she’s contemplated resigning. She answered by saying there’s more work to be done and she’s committed to doing it.