Police officers involved in the asphyxiation of Daniel Prude – who died in March after a bag was placed over his head – followed their training, their union leader said, when it emerged that Prude’s brother Joe said he was hallucinating and suicidal before he died.
Prude, 41, of Chicago, was running naked through the streets of Rochester, New York – where his brother lives – in the early hours of March 23 when he was arrested.
He had taken the drug phencyclidine, known as PCP or angel dust, and went on to rail against the agents, telling them he had coronavirus, telling them to just put him on a plane and ask for their weapons.
Daniel Prude, 41, of Chicago, died in Rochester after an arrest by police on March 23
Prude was naked and in handcuffs when the “spit cap” was put on his head
Paramedics arrived while Prude was wrestled to the ground, still wearing the “spit hood.”
He was handcuffed and sitting on the road when an officer approached him from behind and put a “spit cap” on him because he was spitting.
Prude, who was black, would become agitated and held face to the ground, with an officer’s knee against his back. After the ambulance crew arrived, he passed out and died in hospital seven days later.
The seven agents involved have been suspended.
Michael Mazzeo, president of the Locust Club police union, said the seven officers appeared to be following the guidelines.
“It seems to me that they looked at the training in front of them and step by step did what the training says it does,” he said Friday.
“If there is a problem with that, let’s change that.”
Mazzeo said the officers knew they were dealing with someone who had apparently had a nervous breakdown, and that they were doing their best in difficult circumstances.
The union chief said officers “absolutely” need more help dealing with people who are mentally ill or who use drugs.
“It wasn’t long ago that New York State mental health facilities were closed and people were thrown out, and who was the only other agency that could deal with them? The police, ”he said.
“We absolutely need changes and help.”
Joe Prude told officers, in images captured with body cameras, that his brother had arrived in Rochester on March 22 from Chicago – where he lived with his sister.
Daniel Prude, right, is shown with his brother Joe, who lived with his wife in Rochester
Daniel (right) is pictured with his brother Joe Prude, with Joe’s wife Valerie
Prude had been kicked off the train for smoking and was picked up from a shelter in Buffalo around noon on March 22.
Shortly after arriving at Joe and his wife’s house, Daniel began to grow paranoid, claiming that the couple wanted to kill him.
Joe’s wife Valerie described Daniel jumping under furniture and setting benches to himself, then throwing himself head down 21 steps into the basement.
“We don’t know what to do with him because of this stuff he was doing,” she told the officer.
The couple called the police, and Daniel was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital in the city.
He was there “just a few hours” before a medical taxi dropped him back at Joe’s house.
Joe told the officer that Daniel was “calm” after returning from the hospital and had stopped making suicide statements.
But when Daniel asked for a cigarette and Joe went to get one, Daniel ran out the back door into the cold, rainy night – barefoot, wearing only a white tank top and black long johns.
Police find him on March 23 at 3:16 am.
Protesters in Rochester marched on Thursday night over Prude’s death
Police and protesters are in Rochester on Thursday night after the video aired
A woman records a live video during Thursday night’s protest in Rochester
After Daniel is taken to the hospital after interacting with the police, an officer returns to Joe’s house around 4 a.m. and says that “ the bosses ‘want an officer to stay with them’ ” until they come up with some more. ‘
Footage of Prude’s moment of arrest was released by the family on Wednesday – five months after his death, and only as a result of the filing of an open archive request.
The lovely Warren, Mayor of Rochester, has been accused of leading a cover-up, and violent protests erupted in the city on Thursday, with protesters being driven back by police firing chemical sprays.
Protesters also took to the streets in New York City, where a car drove right into the crowd in Times Square. No one was seriously injured and the police are looking for the driver.
Warren suggested she had been tricked by the police chief, La’Ron D. Singletary.
“Experiencing and ultimately dying from the drug overdose in police custody, as I was told by the chief, is very different from what I ended up seeing on the video,” said the mayor.
Protesters in Rochester held a sit-in on Thursday night, calling for justice for Prude
Police officers used chemical irritants to drive away protesters in the early hours of Friday
A protester falls to the ground amid a burst of chemicals fired by Rochester Police
A medical examiner concluded that Prude’s death was a murder caused by “complications of suffocation in the setting of physical coercion.”
The report cites excited delirium and acute intoxication by phencyclidine, or PCP, as contributing factors.
Chief Singletary denied the intention to keep the circumstances surrounding Prude’s death a secret, said he ordered a criminal and internal investigation just hours after the meeting.
“This is not a cover,” he said.
“Our job is to try and get some sort of medical intervention, and that’s exactly what happened that night.”