Rochester community shaken by death of Daniel Prude

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The death of Daniel Prude has generated a lot of reaction Wednesday night from both elected officials, and the public.

News of this latest incident between police and an unarmed naked Black man isn’t sitting well with our elected officials both past and present.

"It’s a tragic and truly heartbreaking story of how the system failed Mr. Prude and his family," Rochester City Council Member Mitch Gruber said.

News of the incident caught him like many others by surprise.

"The fact that I’m a sitting elected official, and I didn’t know about this for 5 months is really alarming to me," Gruber said.

Prude was unarmed, naked and handcuffed during the incident. His family says he was having a mental breakdown when police were called for help.

"What we need to do as a nation is stop sending armed police into situations that do not call for armed officers," Gruber said.

Rochester Police initially started an investigation but had to turn it over to the State Attorney General’s Office because of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 147. The Office has been investigating the case since April.

Public safety expert, and former Rochester Police Chief, and Deputy Mayor Cedric Alexander says the lack of information coming out of the AG’s office is troubling.

"If they are the investigative body whose doing this investigation they certainly ought to the community there in Rochester, to share with them where they are in this investigation at this very moment," Alexander said.

He went on to say one thing is for certain local leaders shouldn’t be blamed for the lack of information. He says it’s simply out of their hands.

"To share nothing with the community, and it’s elected officials, and its appointed chief certainly creates frustration not just for the community, but for all those, also for those who are in those positions who are trying to as best they can to help keep calm, and explain as much as they can to the community about where things are," Alexander said.

The Monroe County Legislature’s Black and Asian Democratic Caucus released a statement Wednesday night. They said, "It is extremely sad and unfortunate that we have lost yet another life of a citizen who possibly needed mental health support in our county. We once again send our condolences to the family, and all that are impacted."

Rochester City Council also released a statement saying, "No person should have to endure what we saw on the body camera footage. In a moment of need, his family reached out for help, and our system failed Mr. Prude at every turn."

News10NBC reached out to the Rochester Police Locust Club which told us they have no comment at this time.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was asked about the executive order he filed that requires deaths of unarmed people like Daniel Prude to be investigated by the State Attorney General’s Office.

During the late press conference, the governor said he hadn’t seen the body camera video yet, but he was going to watch it Wednesday night.

"The way it’s described is very disturbing and obviously we hadn’t seen the video when I did the referral to the Attorney General, but in retrospect, the referral was more vital than we even knew at the time," Cuomo said.