Rochester mayor answers questions about arrest of Daniel Prude

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Mayor Lovely Warren says she was disturbed after watching the video of Daniel Prude’s interaction with Rochester Police before he died.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and Police Chief La’Ron Singletary both said a full investigation is ongoing.

Warren says she watched the video of Daniel Prude while he was in police custody back on the night of March 23.

"For me. I can definitely sympathize and empathize with the family and I would be very upset about the video," Warren said.

The body camera video, which was released Wednesday, shows what happened that night.

Singletary said he immediately ordered both criminal and internal investigations hours after the incident.

"We did take this investigation seriously from day one when the incident occurred on March 23," Singletary said. "It happened around 3 a.m. on Jefferson Avenue and that morning I ordered an internal investigation and criminal investigation as well, and have been in constant contact with the AG’s office regarding this investigation."

The case is now being investigated by the State Attorney General’s Office, as per Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order 147, which states that any death while in police custody must be investigated by their office.

"Once Mr. Prude passed away, the Rochester Police Department turned the case over to the Attorney General’s Office and since that time we have been waiting for the AG’s office to make a determination on how this case is to proceed," Warren said.

News10NBC asked the mayor why Prude’s death wasn’t made public back in March.

"This is not something that’s in our wheelhouse, in our control at this moment in time, and had it been then, for me this would be something we would’ve talked about months ago," Warren said. "Unfortunately, I can’t, because of what my law department is telling me that I have to adhere to, next executive order that’s the Attorney General’s Office, you know investigation."

The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office released a statement saying in part, "On the afternoon of April 16, 2020, the cause of death of Daniel Prude was sent to the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office. Upon reviewing the cause of death of Mr. Prude, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley made the initial notification to Jennifer Sommers of the State of New York Office of the Attorney General for referral pursuant to Executive Order no. 147."

It ended with the District Attorney’s Office sending its deepest condolences to the family of Daniel Prude.

Former Rochester Police Chief Cedric Alexander weighed in. He says the AG’s Office needs to tell people in Rochester where they are in this investigation.

"You have a mayor, you have a chief, you have elected officials who are being called out, but the fact of the matter is this falls directly at this moment on the footsteps of the Attorney General’s Office there in Albany," Alexander said.

Rochester’s City Council released the following statement Wednesday:

"First and foremost, the Council wants to acknowledge the tragedy of Daniel Prude’s death and offer our heartfelt condolences to his loved ones. 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.
Like many in our community, the Council only learned of and saw this footage today. While we are extremely troubled by this matter, we are limited in what we can do at this time. The State Attorney General’s office is conducting an investigation into the death of Mr. Prude, and we call on Attorney General Letitia James to expedite this process. We must bring answers to Mr. Prude’s family.
As we await the outcome of this investigation, we call upon the County to join us to develop adequate and appropriate resources to respond to the cries for help such as these that went unanswered. We must also rectify inadequacies in our policies, practices, and procedures and improve our communication both internally and externally."