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Rochester mayor suspends officers involved in Daniel Prude's death

Rochester mayor suspends officers involved in Daniel Prude's death
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The mayor of Rochester, N.Y., has suspended the officers involved in the death of Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old Black man who died of asphyxiation in March following an encounter with police.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren (D) said Thursday that seven officers involved in the confrontation had been suspended. It was the first disciplinary action in the five-plus months since Prude’s death.

“I am suspending the officers in question today against council’s advice, and I urge the attorney general to complete her investigation,” Warren said at a press conference. “I understand that the union may sue the city for this, they shall feel free to do so — I have been sued before.”

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Prude died of asphyxiation in March after Rochester police placed a hood over his head and pressed his face into the pavement for two minutes, according to video and records his family released Wednesday.

Police detained Prude after he ran naked through the streets while experiencing some sort of mental distress and he reportedly died a week later on March 30 after he was taken off life support.

“Mr. Daniel Prude was failed by our police department, our mental health care system, our society and, he was failed by me,” Warren said, according to WROC. “Daniel Prude’s death has proven yet again that many of the challenges that we faced in the past are the same challenges that we face today."

The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) began a probe into Prude’s death in April.

Prude’s 18-year-old daughter Tashyrah Prude blamed “racist” police for her father’s death, during a remote press conference earlier Thursday.

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

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“I don’t understand how anybody could say or feel like he was a threat to the police when he complied with all orders," she continued, adding: "There's nothing that anyone could say that could convince me that he was a threat to the police officers."

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe five biggest challenges facing President-elect Biden Collins urges voters to turn out in Georgia runoffs Protect America's houses of worship in year-end appropriations package MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday called for “full accountability” in Prude’s death. 

“What happened to Daniel Prude is wrong,” Schumer tweeted. “His tragic death requires full accountability for any and all wrong-doing and an immediate and complete investigation, which @NewYorkStateAG is currently doing.”

He also called for the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which the House passed in June. Republicans have declined to take up the measure in the GOP-Controlled Senate and have pushed for their own police reform bill, which they also unveiled in June.

The Democrat-backed bill is named for Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody in May. Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests over police brutality and racial injustice.