DANIEL PRUDE’S DAUGH­TER CALLS FOR MUR­DER CHARGES; MAN CHARGED WITH KILLING U. OF I. STU­DENT HAD BEEN CHARGED IN 2019 NORTH SUB­UR­BAN CASE

Chicago Sun-Times - - BUSINESS - BY MANNY RAMOS, STAFF RE­PORTER mramos@sun­times.com | @_ManuelRamo­s_ Manny Ramos is a corps mem­ber in Re­port for Amer­ica, a not-for-profit jour­nal­ism pro­gram that aims to bol­ster Sun-Times cov­er­age of Chicago’s South and West sides.

The daugh­ter of a South Side man killed by po­lice in Rochester, New York, said the per­son seen on a video of the en­counter is not an ac­cu­rate de­pic­tion of who her fa­ther was.

“Ev­ery­body sees my fa­ther now as some­body who was help­less and who was in a bad men­tal state at the time of his death, but I didn’t know him as that,” said 18-year-old Tashyra Prude. “I knew him as a car­ing, en­er­getic and happy-go lucky man who en­joyed mak­ing ev­ery­body smile and who loved his kids.”

Tashyra Prude said it was dif­fi­cult and dev­as­tat­ing to watch her nor­mally strong­willed fa­ther, Daniel, in a “state of help­less­ness” while po­lice of­fi­cers placed a hood over his head and force­fully re­strained him. The sit­u­a­tion was made worse, she said, be­cause he ap­peared to be com­ply­ing with of­fi­cers.

“It’s re­ally tak­ing a toll on me and my sib­lings be­cause we’ve never seen our fa­ther in a sit­u­a­tion that way at all, and all I have to say now is I want jus­tice. I want these of­fi­cers charged with mur­der,” said Tashyra Prude, who is also from Chicago but cur­rently away at col­lege.

Her com­ments Thurs­day fol­lowed the re­lease of po­lice body-cam­era video that shows her 41-year-old fa­ther’s fa­tal in­ter­ac­tion with po­lice back on March 23. They also came shortly be­fore the mayor of Rochester an­nounced the seven of­fi­cers in­volved had been sus­pended.

Daniel Prude, a fa­ther of five chil­dren who had worked in a fac­tory, was found by po­lice walk­ing through the streets of Rochester un­armed, naked and be­hav­ing er­rat­i­cally. The of­fi­cers planned to make a men­tal health ar­rest and sub­due him un­til he could re­ceive emer­gency treat­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the Rochester Demo­crat and Chron­i­cle, of­fi­cers di­rected Daniel Prude to lie on the ground and place his hands be­hind his back. He did so im­me­di­ately, say­ing, “sure thing, sure thing.” Up un­til this point the video doesn’t show Daniel Prude giv­ing of­fi­cers any phys­i­cal re­sis­tance, but at some point, he be­gan shout­ing and spit­ting onto the street.

Once the spit­ting be­gan, of­fi­cers placed a white “spit hood” over his head to pro­tect po­lice from bod­ily flu­ids. Shortly af­ter, he be­gan yelling at of­fi­cers — while sit­ting down on the street and hand­cuffed — to give him their guns.

An of­fi­cer then pushed him over and pressed his head against the pave­ment, while another used his knee on Daniel Prude’s torso to pin him down. A third of­fi­cer held his legs down.

Daniel Prude’s head was pushed down by the of­fi­cer for 2 min­utes and 15 sec­onds be­fore he went silent. He was taken to a hos­pi­tal and de­clared brain dead seven days later; he died March 30 af­ter be­ing taken off life sup­port.

The Monroe County med­i­cal ex­am­iner ruled Daniel Prude’s death a homi­cide caused by “com­pli­ca­tions of as­phyxia in the set­ting of phys­i­cal re­straint.” The re­port lists ex­cited delir­ium and acute in­tox­i­ca­tion by phen­cy­cli­dine, or PCP, as con­tribut­ing fac­tors.

Rochester Mayor Lovely War­ren an­nounced the sus­pen­sion of the of­fi­cers at a Thurs­day press con­fer­ence.

“Mr. Daniel Prude was failed by the po­lice depart­ment, our men­tal health care sys­tem, our so­ci­ety and he was failed by me,” War­ren said.

War­ren said she only be­came aware of the use of force on Aug. 4, and that Po­lice Chief La’Ron Sin­gle­tary ini­tially por­trayed Prude’s death as a drug over­dose, which is “en­tirely dif­fer­ent” than what she wit­nessed in body cam­era video. The mayor said she told the chief she was “deeply, per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally dis­ap­pointed” in his fail­ure to ac­cu­rately in­form her what hap­pened to Prude.

An in­ter­nal po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the fa­tal event de­ter­mined the of­fi­cers’ ac­tions ap­peared to be “ap­pro­pri­ate and con­sis­tent with their train­ing.”

TED SHAFFREY/AP

Pro­test­ers lie in the street Thurs­day at the site of Daniel Prude’s death in Rochester, N.Y.

Daniel Prude

Tashyra Prude

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