Violence erupts in Rochester amid protests over Daniel Prude's death

Sunday, 06 Sep, 2020

Protesters took to the streets in the city following the release Wednesday of video footage showing police putting the spit hood over Prude's head and pinning his naked body to the ground when they responded to the call earlier this year.

Seven police officers involved in the encounter have been suspended, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced Thursday.

A medical examiner concluded that Mr Prude's death was a homicide caused by "complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint".

The report also showed that Mr Prude had a small amount of PCP in his system at the time of his death, which could explain his erratic behaviour. "I'm filled with grief, and anger at myself for all the failures that lead to his death".

"Experiencing and ultimately dying from the drug overdose in police custody, as I was told by the chief, is entirely different than what I ultimately witnessed, on the video", she said.

Protests broke out in Rochester, NY this week over the death of Daniel Prude.

"I won't deny it, I stand before it, and I call for justice upon it", Warren said.

Police use of spit hoods often "looks like something out of Abu Ghraib", said Adante Pointer, an Oakland civil rights lawyer who has handled several cases involving the devices, referring to the infamous prison in Iraq.

When Daniel unexpectedly left Joe's house that night and Joe called the police, he informed them that Daniel was having a mental health episode. "They are especially unsafe when someone is already in crisis as Daniel Prude appeared to be".

"This device is meant to protect officers and others from somebody who threatens to bite or spit, or uses their mouth to infect them", Dr Haberfeld said, describing their response to the situation as "absolutely by the book". He's cuffed up already.

Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets of Rochester Friday night, prompting authorities to declare a riot following the escalation of violence and destruction in the area. After realising Prude had stopped breathing, paramedics who had arrived began CPR.

Seven officers involved in Prude's death were suspended Thursday, a day after the video's release.

RPD says the only time they used tear gas was when some people began hurling commercial grade fireworks directly at officers near Court St. and South Clinton Avenue.

A similar confrontation unfolded across the country in Portland, where the weekend marked 100 consecutive days of protests amid a national reckoning on race and policing sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. They put a mesh hood over his head after he appeared to be spitting and claimed he had COVID-19.

"I think it's incumbent upon all of us, not only here in the Southern Tier, but those in Rochester and those throughout the great State of NY".

Another local activist and organizer, Stanley Martin said that, "I am exhausted of seeing people look like me die at the hands of state sanctioned violence".

Activists are also calling for the resignation of Warren and Rochester Police Chief La'Ron Singletary, and for police to stop using pepper spray and pepper balls on protesters.

"You're trying to kill me!" the 41-year-old man is heard saying.