Protests are set to take place Thursday in upstate New York following the recent release of a video showing the arrest of Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old Black man, who died by asphyxiation in March after Rochester police put a hood over his head while he was on the ground, handcuffed and naked.  

Prude later died on March 30, seven days after the arrest and two months before the police killing of George Floyd sparked international protests against police brutality and racism. 

His family released the footage of the arrest on Wednesday after securing the video under the Freedom of Information Act. 


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Reuters now reports that protests were planned on Thursday in response to the footage, just after Prude’s daughter, Tashyrah Prude, spoke at a press conference condemning her father’s death as an instance of racism among police. 

"A racist police officer saw a Black man in need and decided that he just didn’t deserve to live," she said. 

After the video was released, protests broke out on Wednesday. Police deployed pepper spray on the demonstrators, and nine people were reportedly arrested. 

Activists and civil rights advocates have planned protests in Rochester and in New York City’s Times Square in response to Prude’s death on Thursday, joined by calls for the officers who arrested Prude to be charged with his death. 

During the arrest, one of the officers was reportedly heard asking, “You want to put it on him?” — presumably referring to the hood. 

Once the hood was placed on Prude, he could be heard shouting, “Take this...off my face!” and “You’re trying to kill me!” according to Reuters. His cries were later drowned out under the fabric of the hood.

The video later showed an officer kneeling on Prude’s back, with Prude silent. 

Eventually, Prude was loaded onto a stretcher. The autopsy report wrote that “excited delirium” and acute intoxication from the drug PCP were contributing factors to his death. The cause of the death, however, was ultimately “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.”

Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary told reporters that criminal and internal investigations were ongoing. 

The New York Attorney General Letitia James echoed the sentiments in a statement.

“We will work tirelessly to provide the transparency and accountability that all our communities deserve,” James said.


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Published on Sep 03, 2020