State AG says she did not ask city or RPD not to investigate Daniel Prude’s death

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York Attorney General Letitia James clarified Thursday what her office’s investigation into the March 2020 death of Daniel Prude means for the City of Rochester and Rochester Police Department’s ability to investigate the incident.

James says her office did not ask the City of Rochester or RPD not to launch an internal investigation, and in fact encouraged the city and police department to proceed with an internal review as the Attorney General’s Office conducted its investigation.

When News10NBC interviewed Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren Wednesday, she said the city was waiting on word from the State Attorney General’s Office on how to proceed.

"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 Wednesday.

When asked why information on the incident from March was released Wednesday, she also mentioned the investigation, pursuant to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order, stating all deaths of unarmed people at the hands of police need to be investigated by the State Attorney General’s Office.

"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 Wednesday. "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 Attorney General’s Office released the following statement on the situation:

“As my office continues our investigation into the death of Daniel Prude, it is important for the Rochester community to know that we are working diligently to ensure a swift but thorough investigation. At this time, we have not asked the city of Rochester nor the Rochester Police Department (RPD) to refrain from launching an internal investigation. In fact, we encourage both Rochester and the RPD to proceed with an internal review simultaneous to our investigation. The Prude family and the greater Rochester community deserve answers, and we will continue to work around the clock to provide them.”

For more information on what happened to Daniel Prude, click here.

To watch the body camera footage from the incident, click here.