Millennium Post

7 US cops involved in Black man's suffocation death suspended

Rochester (US): Seven police officers involved in the suffocation death of Daniel Prude in Rochester, New York, were suspended Thursday by the city's mayor, who said she was misled for months about the circumstances of the fatal encounter.

Prude, 41, who was Black, died when he was taken off life support March 30.

That was seven days after officers who encountered him running naked through the street put a hood over his head to stop him from spitting, then held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced the suspensions at a news conference amid outrage that city officials had previously kept quiet about Prude's death.

While denying a cover-up, Warren acknowledged that Prude was failed by the police department, our mental health care system, our society, and he was failed by me."

Hours after the announcement, a crowd of protesters unswayed by the suspensions demonstrated late into the night outside Rochester's police headquarters. Officers doused some protesters with a chemical spray and repeatedly fired an irritant into the crowd to drive activists away from metal barricades ringing the building.

Protesters protected themselves with umbrellas, dashed for cover, then returned to be fired on again.

Journalists were among those hit by pellets during the confrontation, which came on the second day of peaceful demonstrations over Prude's death.

The mayor said she only became aware that Prude's death involved the use of force on August 4.

Initially, she said, Police Chief La'Ron Singletary portrayed it as a drug overdose, which is entirely different than what Warren said she witnessed in body camera


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