Rochester Mayor Fires Police Chief amid Outrage over Black Man’s Death
By Staff, Agencies
Democratic mayor of Rochester fired the city’s police chief, as the US city is reeling with outrage over the long-delayed announcement of the death of unarmed African-American Daniel Prude in police custody.
Mayor Lovely Warren ousted police Chief La'Ron Singletary on Monday, just two weeks before his retirement date.
The decision followed a "cursory management review of the city's role in the death of Daniel Prude and subsequent actions.”
Prude died of asphyxiation after a group of police officers put a hood over his head, then pressed his face into the pavement for two minutes while he was handcuffed.
He stopped breathing and was declared brain-dead at a hospital, where he passed away on March 30, seven days after the encounter with police in Rochester.
The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide by asphyxiation.
The incident gained national attention only in recent weeks after Prude’s family released police body camera footage of the arrest to local media early this month.
The mayor lashed out at police during a news release on Monday, saying that “Prude's death was not taken as seriously as it should have been by those who reviewed the case throughout City government at every level."
"This initial look has shown what so many have suspected, that we have a pervasive problem in the Rochester Police Department," Warren said.
Warren also suspended the city’s spokesman and attorney for 30 days.
She ordered the city’s Office of Public Integrity to investigate whether anyone — herself included — “violated city or departmental policies or ethical standards.”
Warren herself, however, is under fire for the handling of the incident, as Prude’s family said on Monday that she took too long to take action in response to his death.