NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Saturday that she is moving to empanel a grand jury as part of the investigation into the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died following an encounter with police in Rochester.
In a statement, she said, “The Prude family and the Rochester community have been through great pain and anguish. My office will immediately move to empanel a grand jury as part of our exhaustive investigation into this matter.”
Prude died back in March, seven days after his encounter with police.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement saying he applauded James “for taking swift, decisive action in empaneling a grand jury — justice delayed is justice denied and the people of New York deserve the truth.”
In the early hours of March 23, Daniel’s brother called police to help Daniel, who he says was mentally troubled.
Police body camera footage shows Rochester officers ordering a naked Prude to lie on the ground before handcuffing him.
Video shows Prude yelling and spitting. Officers then put a so-called “spit hood” on his head while he is sitting on the ground, naked and handcuffed.
Later, an officer appears to push Prude’s head into the pavement.
Prude stopped breathing, and EMTs performed CPR as he was taken to the hospital, where he was put on life support and later died.
The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint,” excited delirium and acute PCP intoxication, which could have explained the erratic behavior.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said Thursday that the seven officers involved in the incident have been suspended with pay.
The head of the Rochester Police Association says the officers followed protocol.
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