Michael R. By sob, associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) – Daniel Prude was killed in Rochester, New York last year in an official response to the police case that left the city’s mayor and former police chief to keep key details of the case secret for months and lying to the public. Is investigating What they knew about him.
The report, formed by Rochester’s city council and made public on Friday, stated that Mayor Lovely Warren lied at a press conference in September when he said it wasn’t until August that he learned that the officers had said March 23, 2020 During the period, Prued was physically banned because he arrested him. For his death.
Warren reported that on the same day the officers used physical restraint, the report stated, and by mid-April, the then Police Chief La’Ron Singletary and other officers knew Prud had died and the officer Criminal investigations that were.
“In the final analysis, the decision not to disclose these facts publicly rested with Mayor Warren, as the elected mayor of the City of Rochester,” said the report, New York City attorney Andrew G. Celli Jr. has written. Mayor Warren Prude is not alone responsible for the arrest and suppression of the circumstances of Mr. Prude’s death. “
Warren said in a statement that she welcomed the report “because it allows our community to move forward.”
“The entire city government, we have accepted our responsibility, recognized that changes are necessary and action has been taken,” she said, citing various measures on police practices and discipline.
In his statement, Warren did not address the report’s specific assessment of his own conduct.
A special counsel for the city administration claimed that Warren had lied.
The mayor spoke based on the facts known at the time and if what he said was not true, because Singledary misled him, lawyer Carrie Cohen said.
Messages seeking comment were left to a spokesperson for Warren, who was among the officers involved in the investigation and an attorney for Singleri.
The report said Singleri told the mayor that authorities restrained Prude, but the chief completely abolished the role of restraint in his death and “the statements of Warren and other officials.”
The report said Singleri’s characterization is “likely influenced” by how city officials viewed the case.
Warren claimed to the public that Singleri had initially told him that Prude’s death was a “drug overdose”, but Friday’s report said he never told her. Meanwhile, Singletary, meanwhile, made “an untrue statement by omission” when she failed to vindicate Warren’s claim during a September news conference that she had not been informed that Prud’s death was A murder was said. It said that Singleri spoke of finding him on 13 April.
In addition, the report said, in August, a city attorney discouraged Warren from publicly disclosing Pruden’s arrest or disciplinary action against officers after seeing the Encounter’s body-wear camera footage for the first time.
The lawyer incorrectly stated that the city was barred from taking action against officials while the state Attorney General’s Office was investigating Prude’s death, the report said.
“There is no surprise there.” It most confirms what I already knew, ”said attorney Elliot Shields, who represents Prud’s brother, Joe.
“It shows me in a big way that the city has systemic failures,” he said.
In a body-camera video made public by Prude’s family in early September, Prude appears handcuffed and naked with a spit above his head as an officer pushes his face against the ground, While another officer beats his knee. The officers restrained him for about two minutes until he breathed. A week later he was removed from life support.
Last month, a grand jury denied the authorities involved.
Lawyers for the seven police officers who were suspended over Prude’s death have said that the officers were strictly following their training that night, using a restraining technique called “segmenting”. He claimed Proud’s use of PCP, which was the cause of irrational behavior, was the “root cause” of his death.
Rochester’s city council authorized an independent investigation to deal with Prude’s death within days of the video being made and voted to give investigators power to sub-city departments.
Celli noted in the report that the decision to inform the public about an important event is “a policy decision, and a political one, not a legal one,” and that there is no written rule governing the mayor in Rochester or There are no standards or other officers in such cases.
“It is not up to the Special Council of Investigators to decide whether the decisions by Rochester authorities to disclose the arrest and death of Daniel Prude are true,” Celli wrote. “The judges of that question are citizens of the city of Rochester and the public at large.”
The report also confirms that Rochester police commanders urged city officials to publicly release camera footage of Prude’s ankle death as they protested to the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis There were apprehensions of a violent attack during the demonstration.
In a June 4 email, Deputy Chief Mark Simmons cited the “current climate” in the city and the country and advised Singleri to reject a public records request from a Prude family lawyer for footage of the encounter, with city attorneys Press that led to his death. .
“We certainly do not want people to misinterpret the actions of officers and counter the incident with the recent killings of unarmed black men nationally by law enforcement,” Simmons wrote. “This will simply be a false narrative, and as a result can create enmity and potentially violent shock in the community.”
“Completely agree,” Singletary replied, according to the email.
Rochester officials released the email last fall, along with police reports and other documents. Warren fired Singletary and suspended the city’s attorney, Corporation Counselor Tim Curtin, and Director of Communications Justin Rose for 30 days for not responding to the outcome of the case.
Prude’s death sparked several weeks of protests and calls for Warren’s resignation. His family has filed a federal lawsuit demanding the police department cover the true nature of Prude’s death.
Associated Press writers Jennifer Peltz in New York and Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo contributed.
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