Singletary testifies in Daniel Prude investigation
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The nearly 10-hours of testimony by former Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary ended just before 7:30 p.m. Friday night.
Singletary testified in the city council’s investigation of the aftermath of Daniel Prude’s death, and the actions of city officials.
The former chief says he was loyal to Mayor Lovely Warren until he says she threw him under the bus. He said he always thought that both he, and Warren were always on the same page.
When Singletary and his attorney left City Hall Friday night soon after his deposition. He took no questions.
Patrick Moussignac: "Chief, anything you want to say about your deposition?
La’Ron Singletary: "No comment, no comment."
Hours earlier he answered questions from City Council Attorney Andrew Celli regarding the circumstances that led to the death of Daniel Prude, following his interaction with Rochester Police back on March 23rd of last year.
One question focused on his working relationship with Mayor Warren. Singletary said he did not agree with many of the things Warren said about him during interviews with the media shortly after his firing, including one with News10NBC’s Lynette Adams.
Singletary says he originally planned to hold his own news conference to respond to warren’s comments.
"If I needed to come out on my own to kind of rebut some of what the Mayor was saying, comments on Channel 8, and Channel 10. So this was notes to myself sort of written in a media statement where I began to kind of recount the event as they occurred," said Singletary.
In that same planned press conference, Singletary said he wanted to personally reach out to the Prude family.
"Primarily for them going through this. That they, it’s a shame that they had to go through this because of what City Hall was doing," said Singletary.
According to his notes, Singletary says the Mayor wanted him to lie, and misinform the public about what he told the Mayor and when.
"She said she believed I was purposely deceitful, and hid things from her (right), and that was not true," said Singletary.
The former Chief announced his retirement back on September 8th, saying he wanted to take the high road. The Mayor fired him before it took effect three weeks later. When asked by Celli why he didn’t just come out and tell the truth, Singletary says it was a no-win situation.
"Who do you go to when your boss, the highest like you say the executive in the city asks you to withhold information from the City Council investigation and provide misinformation to this investigating body under oath," said Singletary.
The City of Rochester released this statement:
"Today’s testimony proved that Mr. Singletary never shared the video depicting what truly happened to Mr. Prude with Mayor Warren prior to August 4. He stated in his opinion that ‘nothing egregious’ happened, disagreed that RPD officers were directly responsible for Mr. Prude’s death, and even went so far as to say everything was done ‘by the book. He downplayed what occurred from the very beginning through today, and believes that neither he nor anyone in the Rochester Police Department, did anything wrong. Mayor Warren believes we need to move forward with honoring Daniel Prude, and all the past victims of police violence, by doing the necessary work to reform policing and achieve equity in Rochester."
Click here for more information on the death of Daniel Prude.