No police officer will be charged in connection with African American Daniel Prude’s death in Rochester, New York, Attorney General Laetitia James said.
She noted that while the decision will shock the Prude family, some in the United States and Rochester in particular, “we must respect this decision.”
“The current lethal force laws have created a system that has completely failed Mr Prude and many others before him,” the attorney general added.
She noted that both the Rochester Police Department and the criminal justice system needed to be reformed.
Protests were held in Rochester after it became known about the death of the Daniel Prude. An African American died of suffocation in New York State after police put a bag over his head and held him against the asphalt for two minutes.
The incident took place on February 23rd. The brother of 41-year-old Daniel Prude called 911 after he ran out into the street naked. According to the New York Times, the emergency call also came from a truck driver who reported a naked man running down the street, saying he had coronavirus. According to police reports, on the eve of the incident, Prude was taken to the hospital after developing mental problems.
A video released in the media from police body cameras shows how law enforcement officers put a special bag over the head of a man in handcuffs, presumably so that he cannot spit in them. After that, the man began to resist and shout, “Give me a gun.” One of the police officers pressed Prude’s head to the asphalt, while the other put a knee on his back. The third policeman was holding the man’s legs.
According to the video, the police asked the detainee to “stop spitting” and “calm down.” After two minutes, the man stopped moving. The doctors who arrived at the scene carried out the necessary resuscitation measures and hospitalized the man. He died a week later in hospital after being disconnected from life support.
According to the autopsy report, the Monroe County medical examiner ruled that Pond’s death was an asphyxiation murder “under physical confinement.” The document also states that exacerbation of mental disorder and acute intoxication with phencyclidine were additional factors.
The police officers involved in the death of Pond were previously suspended from work.