Locust Club president speaks on what and when they knew of Daniel Prude’s death
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester Police Locust Club responded Friday morning, two days after police body camera footage of Daniel Prude being restrained by officers back in March was made public.
One of the biggest questions for the Locust Club, which is the Union that represents the city’s police force: What did they know, and when did they find out?
Rochester Police Locust Club President Mike Mazzeo said this before holding his news conference, "First, and foremost our condolences go out to the Prude family, and their loss."
He explained why it took two days to hear from the Union.
"The Union was placed in a very difficult situation, and determined that it will not be prudent, and in the interest of our organization and commenting until we had sufficient information to respond in an informative way," said Mazzeo.
He discussed how the Union found out about the confrontation between police, and Daniel Prude, but couldn’t say exactly what day he found out.
"The Union first learned of the incident by the Chief’s Office reaching out to request our members who were involved in the incident with Mr. Prude should speak with investigators from Major Crimes that were investigating the matter," said Mazzeo. He continued, "This would be a criminal investigation."
Mazzeo says the conversation was both brief and casual, and that they were no concerns with the actions of the police officers who he was told followed all proper police protocols. Mazzeo says he knew there was an ongoing criminal investigation, but not an internal one.
"Only yesterday did we learn that an internal investigation has been initiated," said Mazzeo. He went on to say, "Only yesterday did we learn that 7 of our members would be suspended. Like everyone else we have concerns."
Mazzeo says those concerns of accountability lie almost entirely on both Mayor Lovely Warren and the City’s Law Department which he believes knows more than they are admitting to.
"I think that it was a careless, and reckless press conference that was done yesterday, and we have to remember what’s important the safety, and safety of the community comes first."
Mazzeo also said, "If Mayor Warren has issues she’s dealing with then perhaps she should step aside, and make sure that the interest of the city comes first, and the safety of the community comes first."
When Mazzeo was asked if Chief La’Ron Singletary should step down, he said it was not appropriate for him to offer his opinion, but did say he should be held accountable as well.
Mayor Warren’s Office said it had no additional comments.