The law enforcement officials concerned in the arrest and asphyxiation death of an unarmed Black man in the US state of New York final 12 months will not face felony charges, the state’s legal professional basic introduced on Tuesday.
A grand jury voted not to indict any officer concerned in the death of 41-year-old Daniel Prude, who died after police put a spit hood over his head and held him down throughout an arrest in Rochester, the state’s third largest metropolis, in March.
Prude’s arrest – which was captured on police physique cameras – sparked outrage throughout the United States, which noticed widespread protests final 12 months demanding racial justice and an finish to systemic police violence in opposition to Black individuals.
“Daniel Prude was in the throes of a psychological well being disaster and what he wanted was compassion, care, and assist from skilled professionals. Tragically, he acquired none of these issues,” New York Attorney General Letitia James stated in an announcement on Tuesday.
“We concluded that there was adequate proof surrounding Mr Prude’s death to warrant presenting the case to a grand jury, and we offered essentially the most complete case doable,” James stated.
“While I do know that the Prude household, the Rochester group, and communities throughout the nation will rightfully be devastated and disillusioned, we now have to respect this determination.”
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren additionally stated the grand jury determination “is difficult for many people to know”, however known as on the group to “work in direction of altering insurance policies and procedures to appropriate the inequities in the system”, in accordance with an announcement shared by native media.
Seven law enforcement officials who had been concerned in Prude’s arrest had been suspended in September.
Police body camera footage displaying Prude mendacity on the bottom bare, handcuffed and surrounded by law enforcement officials, was launched after his household obtained it via a freedom of knowledge request.
His household stated the daddy of 5 had been combating psychological well being points when the household known as the police for assist after he bumped into the road and took off his garments.
The video confirmed officers who arrived on the scene placing a hood over his head and telling him to “cease spitting”. Prude’s face was pressed into the bottom with the hood on.
His voice turned muffled and minutes later he was silent. Prude died seven days later, on March 30, after he was taken off life assist.
A medical expert concluded that Prude’s death was a murder brought on by “problems of asphyxia in the setting of bodily restraint”.
The launch of the video pictures raised questions of a doable cover-up and turned Rochester right into a flashpoint in a summer season of protests over racial injustice and policing in the US that had been first sparked by George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
Warren, the mayor, fired Police Chief La’Ron Singletary and suspended two metropolis officers over the incident.
Local civil rights teams had known as for the officers concerned to be fired and prosecuted, nonetheless. In September, they held a number of consecutive nights of protests to demand justice and accountability for Prude’s death.
Rochester police have stated they’re conducting inside and felony investigations.
Warren stated town’s new police chief is anticipated to announce orders and procedures to implement policing reforms quickly.
“The present legal guidelines on lethal power have created a system that completely and abjectly failed Mr Prude and so many others earlier than him,” stated James, the legal professional basic. “Serious reform is required, not solely on the Rochester Police Department, however to our felony justice system as an entire.”
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