AG: Judge grants motion to unseal grand jury minutes in Prude case

WHECTV
Updated: February 24, 2021 07:07 PM
Created: February 23, 2021 06:56 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York Attorney General Letitia James Tuesday announced that a judge has granted her motion to unseal and publicly release the grand jury minutes in the investigation into the death of Daniel Prude.

Tuesday evening James announced that the grand jury decided not to indict the officers involved in Prude's death.

Body camera video released from the scene on Jefferson Avenue shows Prude naked in the street in March 2020. It shows some erratic behavior, but it shows he followed police commands. When he tried to sit up while handcuffed, the video shows police put him back down on the ground and pinned him. 

The video also shows one officer in a push-up stance with his hands on Prude's head and neck. Less than 10 minutes after he was handcuffed, Prude stopped breathing. He had no pulse and was getting CPR when he was put in an ambulance. Prude died a week later after he was taken off life support.

James released the following statement:

“As I have contended throughout my entire career, there can be no accountability without transparency, and the public deserves to know what transpires behind closed doors. That is why I filed a motion with the court to have the grand jury proceedings of this case unsealed and made available to the public, which the judge has just granted this evening. As soon as the judge authorizes, my office will release those proceedings so the Prude family, the Rochester community, and communities across the country will no longer be kept in the dark. This is a critical step in effecting the change that is so desperately needed.”

Wednesday, News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean found out the decision happened without any of the lawyers of people who testified knowing about it. 

A letter mailed to the court Wednesday from James Nobles, the lawyer for one of the officers targeted by the grand jury investigation, asked to see the motion to unseal the records and have an opportunity to talk about it.

Nobles said there are addresses, Social Security numbers and health records in the grand jury testimony. 

"I'm essentially asking for the opportunity to review the motion submitted to the court, have an opportunity to respond to that motion if appropriate and if necessary to be heard before the court before grand jury minutes are released," Nobles said.

Click here for full coverage on the death of Daniel Prude.


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