A grand jury has chosen not to criminally charge Rochester police officers whose restraint of Daniel Prude may have caused his death, Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday.
The family said Prude was having a mental health episode and was under the influence of drugs early in the morning of March 23. Daniel Prudes’s brother Joe said he called police on 23 March as Daniel was showing acute mental health problems. Prude didn’t have any prior history of mental health issues according to his brother. When officers arrived, he had been running naked through the streets.
In police bodycam footage he can be seen lying on the ground as officers restrain him. While sitting on the road, he becomes agitated, alternately asking for money or a gun. He began spitting on the street and an officer says that Mr Prude told him he had Covid-19, and they place the spit hood on him.
At some point in the video one officer can be seen pressing down on Mr Prude’s head with both hands, saying “stop spitting”. Mr Prude stops moving and goes quiet, and officers note he feels cold. Paramedics are called and Mr Prude is taken to a hospital. He died a week later when family took him off life support.
The medical examiner ruled his death as a homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint”, with intoxication by the drug PCP, a contributing factor.
Daniel Prude’s death: Attorney General Letitia James announcement- video
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