Rochester mayor pledges reforms after police killing of Daniel Prude

  • Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said Sunday that she is moving her city’s crisis intervention team, and its budget, away from the police department.
  • The announcement comes after Daniel Prude, a Black man, died after Rochester police placed a hood over his head.
  • Prude’s death has been ruled a homicide.
  • “We had a human being in a need of help, in need of compassion,” Warren said.

The mayor of Rochester, New York, is pledging to shift some of her city’s budget away from its police department amid protests over the killing of Daniel Prude, who lost consciousness and died after officers placed a hood over his head.

At a press conference on Sunday, Mayor Lovely Warren said she would shift Rochester’s crisis intervention team and its budget  to the city’s youth and recreation services — and away from the police department, the Associated Press reported.

The move is one of several reforms promised for “the coming weeks, months and years,” Warren claimed, without offering specifics.

“We had a human being in a need of help, in need of compassion. In that moment we had an opportunity to protect him, to keep him warm, to bring him to safety, to begin the process of healing him and lifting him up,” Warren said. “We have to own the fact that in the moment we did not do that.”

On Saturday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced she was moving to form a grand jury to investigate the killing of Prude, a Black man who was killed after his brother called 911 seeking help. Responding officers found Prude, who was struggling with mental health issues, naked in the street in below-freezing weather.

After complying with their demands, officers placed a “spit hood” over Prude’s head, reportedly fearing he had COVID-19. They then pressed his face to the ground for two minutes until he lost consciousness.

Monroe County Medical Examiner Dr. Nadia Granger ruled Prude’s death a homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint,” the Democrat & Chronicle reported.

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