US: Police won’t face costs in Daniel Prude’s dying

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Grand jury votes to not indict law enforcement officials concerned in arrest and suffocation dying of 41-year-old man in Rochester, New York.

The law enforcement officials concerned within the arrest and dying from asphyxiation of an unarmed Black man within the US state of New York final yr won’t face felony costs, the state’s legal professional normal introduced on Tuesday.

A grand jury voted to not indict any officer concerned within the dying of 41-year-old Daniel Prude, who died after police put a spit hood over his head and held him down throughout an arrest in Rochester, the state’s third-largest metropolis, in March.

Prude’s arrest – which was captured on police physique cameras – sparked outrage throughout the United States, which noticed widespread protests final yr demanding racial justice and an finish to systemic police violence towards Black folks.

“Daniel Prude was in the throes of a mental health crisis and what he needed was compassion, care and help from trained professionals. Tragically, he received none of those things,” New York Attorney General Letitia James mentioned in an announcement on Tuesday.

“We concluded that there was sufficient evidence surrounding Mr Prude’s death to warrant presenting the case to a grand jury, and we presented the most comprehensive case possible,” James mentioned.

“While I know that the Prude family, the Rochester community and communities across the country will rightfully be devastated and disappointed, we have to respect this decision.”

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren additionally mentioned the grand jury resolution “is hard for many of us to understand” however referred to as on the group to “work towards changing policies and procedures to correct the inequities in the system”, in line with an announcement shared by native media.

Seven law enforcement officials who had been concerned in Prude’s arrest had been suspended in September.

Police physique digicam footage exhibiting Prude mendacity on the bottom bare, handcuffed and surrounded by law enforcement officials, was launched after his household obtained it via a freedom of knowledge request.

His household mentioned the daddy of 5 had been scuffling with psychological well being points when the household referred to as the police for assist after he bumped into the road and took off his garments.

b593438ae4f2450f81a9174c9da4299a 18People held demonstrations in Rochester in September to demand justice for Daniel Prude [File: Maranie R Staab/AFP]

The video confirmed officers who arrived on the scene placing a hood over his head and telling him to “stop spitting”. Prude’s face was pressed into the bottom with the hood on.

His voice turned muffled and minutes later he was silent. Prude died seven days later, on March 30, after he was taken off life help.

A health worker concluded that Prude’s dying was a murder attributable to “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint”.

The launch of the video pictures raised questions of a potential cover-up and turned Rochester right into a flashpoint in a summer time of protests over racial injustice and policing within the US that had been first sparked by George Floyd’s dying in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

Warren, the mayor, fired Police Chief La’Ron Singletary and suspended two metropolis officers over the incident.

Local civil rights teams had referred to as for the officers concerned to be fired and prosecuted, nevertheless. In September, they held a number of consecutive nights of protests to demand justice and accountability for Prude’s dying.

Rochester police have mentioned they’re conducting inner and felony investigations.

Warren mentioned town’s new police chief is predicted to announce orders and procedures to implement policing reforms quickly.

“The current laws on deadly force have created a system that utterly and abjectly failed Mr Prude and so many others before him,” mentioned James, the legal professional normal. “Serious reform is needed, not only at the Rochester Police Department, but to our criminal justice system as a whole.”

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