News and Commentary

Daniel Prude: Police Body-Cam Footage, Autopsy Released. Here’s What We Know
Lovely A. Warren, mayor of Rochester, speaks during a press conference on the death of Daniel Prude on September 03, 2020 in Rochester, New York.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Back in March, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Daniel Prude, a black male, interacted with officers from the Rochester Police Department (RPD) in New York after at least two people called 911 about Prude’s behavior and welfare, included Prude’s own brother, Joe Prude.

Police reports indicate Prude was restrained by officers while waiting for the ambulance the cops summoned — video (below) suggests this was done soon after Prude told officers, “Give me your gun, I need it.”

As noted by Forbes, Prude “had been taken to the local hospital for suicidal thoughts about eight hours before his encounter with police on March 22.”

As cops were physically restraining the man for about two minutes, body camera footage (which can be viewed below) and media reports suggest the 41-year-old threw up and lost consciousness. He was reportedly resuscitated on the way to the hospital but likely suffered severe brain damage and was pulled from life support about a week later by his family.

Notably, Prude has a mesh-like hood placed over his head, dubbed a “spit hood.” The device is used to protect officers from saliva. Prude was repeatedly spitting and reportedly telling people he had COVID. (The interaction with police was in March, at the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic.)

An autopsy report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office, according to WXXI News, “listed the cause of Prude’s death as ‘complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint due to excited delirium due to acute phencyclidine intoxication,’ an indication that Prude might have been high on PCP.”

A portion of the police report reads: “(The paramedic) stated that the observations of the subject were that he could be experiencing ‘excited delirium,’ which she described as a condition in which the subject is experiencing agitation and aggression; increased heart rate and respiration; overheating — which she stated would explain the subject being naked on a night when temperatures were around 32 degrees and mixed snow and precipitation — sweating, flushed appearance; excessive strength, a high tolerance for pain and incoherent speech.”

The interaction with RPD and the allegedly slow-walked release of information about Prude’s death from top officials in the Democrat-run city, including Mayor Lovely Warren and RPD Chief La’Ron Singletary, has sparked racially-charged protesting.

WXXI News reported Wednesday on Prude’s interaction with police, giving more context via police reports in addition to body camera footage:

[Prude] had allegedly just gone on a destructive tear, according to police reports, smashing out the windows of several storefronts, and ranting about having the coronavirus. A passing tow truck driver who called 911 described Prude as being covered in blood.

Police body-camera footage shows officers who responded confronted Prude near Dr. Samuel McCree Way with Tasers drawn and ordered him to lay down on the road, which was slick from a light snowfall. Prude complied, laying face-down on his stomach, and officers cuffed his hands behind his back.

But in time, the 5-foot-10-inch, 230-pound man grew agitated. He began yelling vulgarities and tried, unsuccessfully, to stand up. Officers ordered him several times to return to the prone position before placing a white hood over Prude’s head, known as a “spit sock,” and restraining him by holding him down by his feet and his head, and applying pressure to Prude’s back with a knee.

Prude eventually fell unconscious and stopped breathing, according to police reports. 

Speaking to reporters this week, Joe Prude said he called police to alert them to his brother but claims officers committed a “cold-blooded murder” and “lynching” of Prude.

“I placed the phone call for my brother to get help, not to get lynched,” Joe Prude said.

“When I say ‘get lynched,’ that was a full-fledged on-going murder, cold-blooded, none other than cold-blooded murder,” he continued. “The man is defenseless, butt-naked on the ground, he’s cuffed up already. I mean, come on. How many more brothers got to die for society to understand that this needs to stop?”

The case is currently being investigated by the state Attorney General’s Office.

Mayor Warren suspended seven RPD officers involved in the interaction, on Thursday.

Body-cam footage below:

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Daniel Prude: Police Body-Cam Footage, Autopsy Released. Here’s What We Know