The mayor of the US metropolis of Rochester has sacked the police chief and suspended two different officers over the loss of life of a black man who was hooded and restrained throughout an arrest.
Mayor Pretty Warren mentioned a overview had discovered that the police division had “a pervasive drawback”, viewing every thing “by way of the eyes of the badge”.
Police chief La’Ron Singletary introduced his retirement final week.
On the time he mentioned his dealing with of the case was being distorted.
Daniel Prude’s loss of life in New York State in March led to days of protests in Rochester and was one of many key occasions in months of unrest over racial injustice within the US.
Mr Prude, 41, had been affected by acute psychological well being issues and had run out of his brother’s residence in Rochester when police have been known as. Officers discovered him operating bare on the street and restrained him with a “spit hood”, which is designed to guard police from detainees’ saliva.
Whereas being held down he stopped respiration and died per week later after being taken off life assist.
At a information convention on Monday, Ms Warren mentioned she had completely relieved Chief Singletary and suspended Company Counsel Tim Curtin and Communications Director Justin Roj with out pay for 30 days. She mentioned the transfer adopted a overview of the town’s function in Mr Prude’s loss of life.
“This preliminary look has proven what so many have suspected, that now we have a pervasive drawback within the Rochester Police Division – one which views every thing by way of the eyes of the badge and never the residents we serve,” she mentioned.
“It exhibits that Mr Prude’s loss of life was not taken as critically because it ought to have been by those that reviewed the case all through metropolis authorities at each stage.”
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She mentioned different suggestions included that the US Justice Division conduct a overview of Rochester Police.
“I’ve apologised to the Prude household and this group for the failures that occurred alongside the best way, together with my very own,” she mentioned. “As mayor, I personal these failures.”
The police initially described Mr Prude’s loss of life as the results of a medicine overdose. However particulars got here to nationwide consideration when physique digicam footage of the arrest was launched by the household after a public information request.
Chief Singletary has denied that his division tried to maintain particulars of Mr Prude’s loss of life out of public view.
When he introduced that he was stepping down, he mentioned that “as a person of integrity, I can’t sit idly by whereas exterior entities try to destroy my character”.
“The mischaracterisation and the politicisation of the actions that I took after being knowledgeable of Mr Prude’s loss of life is just not primarily based on info, and isn’t what I stand for,” he added.
A grand jury will examine whether or not prices needs to be introduced over Mr Prude’s loss of life.
Mr Prude’s household have filed a federal lawsuit accusing the police division of attempting to cowl up the info round his loss of life.