Daniel Prude's family, Rochester mayor speak about Chicago man who died while being restrained by police

ByRob Elgas and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Chicago man died while being restrained by police in Rochester, NY
Daniel Prude died in March in Rochester, New York, but details of his death are just being released.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WLS) -- Protests erupted in Rochester, New York Wednesday after details were released about the death of a Chicago man who was pinned to the ground by officers there and asphyxiated.

Daniel Prude died in March in Rochester, New York, but details of his death are just being released.

Daniel Prude was visiting family when they called police because they concerned he was suffering mental health issues.

Some of the video from the police body cameras is graphic. It has been blurred because Prude was naked at the time of the incident.

"I placed a phone call for my brother to get help, not for my brother to get lynched," said Joe Prude, Daniel Prude's brother.

"We want to make sure that the investigation is fair, it is unbiased, it is something that people can have confidence in," Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said.

Body camera video from Rochester officers shows Daniel Prude sitting naked in the middle of a street back in March.

In the video, Prude is handcuffed and can be heard shouting at officers and, at times, spitting before officers cover his face with a hood. Later, an officer holds Prude's head down for more than two minutes as his yells become whimpers. Then, he appears to stop breathing.

Paramedics attempted CPR and rushed him to the hospital. Prude died 7 days later.

The coroner ruled his death a homicide, citing asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint, excited delirium, and PCP.

"That was a full-fledged, ongoing murder. Cold blooded," Joe Prude said.

"We do take this investigation seriously from day one," Rochester Police Chief La'ron Singletary said. "That morning I ordered a criminal investigation,"

The New York State Attorney General's Office is reviewing the case for any possible criminal charges against the officers. None have been filed.

The officers involved were not suspended and remain on the job.