RPD completes internal investigation into death of Daniel Prude
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester Police Department confirmed to News10NBC Friday it has completed its investigation into the death of Daniel Prude.
The department has not yet shared any details about the outcome of the investigation, saying only Interim Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan’s command staff is reviewing it.
Body camera footage shows Daniel Prude pinned to the ground by Rochester police officers on March 23, 2020, on Jefferson Avenue. Prude was not breathing and had no pulse after the officers restrained and handcuffed him. He died seven days later in the hospital after being taken off life support. The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide and says Prude died from complications of asphyxia due to physical restraint, excited delirium and PCP.
Prude’s death didn’t become public knowledge until early September 2020.
Mayor Lovely Warren suspended seven officers for their involvement in Prude’s death. The officers remain suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation, Herriott-Sullivan said.
In February 2021, New York Attorney General James announced the officers involved would not be charged. A month later, an attorney hired to independently investigate the City of Rochester’s handling of the Prude case concluded the city "suppressed" information from getting to the public and made "untrue statements."
A group of lawmakers, activists, and mental health professionals are proposing "Daniel’s Law," a bill that, if passed, would establish both state and regional mental health response councils, which would permit mental health professionals to respond to mental health and substance abuse emergencies.
Prude’s five children filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Rochester and the seven officers, alleging civil rights violations. According to court documents, the family claims it made a "fatal mistake" of seeking help from the Rochester Police Department in Prude’s mental health crisis.
The family is seeking damages for Prude’s "emotional pain and suffering" among other damages. Soon after the grand jury chose not to indict the officers, Prude’s brother, Joe Prude, and his sister filed a civil lawsuit of their own.