Seven police officers in Rochester New York, United States of America, have been suspended for their role in the killing of 41-year-old Daniel Prude, who died in March after being suffocated.
Mayor Lovely Warren made the announcement at a Thursday news conference, stating that the officers were suspended with pay, this was done against the advice of counsel.
The mayor stated that Daniel Prude was failed by the police department, the mental health system, the society, and by herself, and she apologised to the Prude family and the community.
The footage of the incident was released on Thursday the 3rd of September 2020, showing the officers pressing Daniel Prude’s face into the ground for more than three minutes while he was handcuffed.
Lovely Warren stated that they suspended the officers, including those that were seen on the camera footage and others who had a duty to stop what was happening.
The confrontation started after Daniel Prude’s family called the police on the 23rd of March 2020 to get help for the 41-year-old, who was experiencing a manic episode.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found Daniel Prude naked on a street that was covered in snow.
The upset man put his hands behind his back after police after the police had asked him to get on the ground multiple times while pointing their tasers.
Officers then threw him to the ground and held his head against the pavement while he was handcuffed.
The tension of the incident worsened when the police put a hood over Daniel Prude’s face, which they later described as a precaution to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
In the video Daniel Prude is heard asking for the hood to be taken off his face and stating that the police were trying to kill him.
The struggle continued for about three minutes as Daniel Prude was still pinned to the ground.
One of the officers stated that Daniel Pride was throwing up and did not have chest compressions anymore.
Paramedics performed CPR on the dying man after arriving at the scene but shortly after they stated that he was not responding.
According to the medical examiner’s report, Daniel Prude was killed by homicide.
Daniel Prude’s older brother, Joe, stated that he placed the phone call for his brother to get help and not to get killed, he also went on to say that they killed a defenceless man who was unarmed and needed help.
Lovely Warren stated that the union might fight to protect the officers, but she is determined to keep the police accountable.
She went on to state that she has never shied away from taking action and holding the police or anyone who fails their duties to their community accountable, she also said that she understands that the union may sue her for taking these officers off the streets and they should feel free to do so.
Lovely Warren added that the city’s police chief lied to her, leading her to believe Daniel Prude died of an overdose while in police custody.
The mayor, who saw the body camera footage for the first time last month, stated that Daniel Prude would have been treated differently if he was white.
The family of the late Daniel Prude is now coping with the death of their loved one while still dealing with the trauma of seeing many Black men and women dying at the hands of police officers.
Prude’s family is calling for the officers involved in the death of their loved one to be fired and arrested.