Rochester Police department’s entire command staff, including its chief, have resigned over the death of Daniel Prude

  • Rochester, New York, Mayor Lovely Warren announced that the police department's command staff was resigning during a city council Tuesday.
  • Police Chief La'Ron Singletary and Deputy Police Chief Joseph Morabito also announced they would be retiring. 
  • The resignations and retirements come after video footage of the March 23 death of Daniel Prude became public last week. 
  • Seven officers have been suspended in connection to Prude's death, in which police put a “spit hood" over his head” and held him down until he became unconscious. 
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The chief of police in Rochester, New York, was among several high-ranking department officials who resigned or retired on Tuesday over the death of Daniel Prude, who suffocated after officers put him in a "spit hood" in video footage that was made public last week.

Seven officers were suspended in connection to Prude's March 23 death, and  New York Attorney General Letitia announced a state grand jury would investigate. Now the police department's leadership staff is resigning.

"The entire command staff has decided to retire," Mayor Lovely Warren said during a Zoom city council meeting on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Washington Post. "As you all know, this has been very challenging times for the city of Rochester and the chief was not asked to give his resignation."

Police Chief La'Ron Singletary announced, however, that he would be retiring in a separate press conference, while Deputy Police Chief Joseph Morabito also announced his own retirement, NBC News reported.

"The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and know what I stand for," Singletary said. "The mischaracterization and the politicization of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr. Prude's death is not based on facts, and is not what I stand for."

Black Lives Matter protests commenced in Rochester last week after Prude's family released police videos of the police encounter. Protesters have called for accountability and further legislation to change how police respond to mental health emergencies.

Prude's brother, Joe Prude, had called 911 saying his brother was experiencing a mental health crisis.

According to police footage, officers found Prude naked in the street, and put a "spit hood" over his head" upon hearing he may have COVID-19. Police then held him down, and he fell unconscious. He died seven days later.

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