ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP - Modified) — A grand jury will not seek charges against officers shown on body camera video holding Daniel Prude down naked and handcuffed on a city street last winter until he stopped breathing.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the decision Tuesday.
While I know that the Prude family, the Rochester community, and communities across the country will rightfully be devastated, we have to respect this decision.— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) February 23, 2021
The current laws on deadly force have created a system that utterly failed Mr. Prude and so many others before him.
I will be pursuing a multifaceted approach, including legislation, to address the very issues that have prevented us from holding officers accountable when they improperly use deadly force.— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) February 23, 2021
I will be unshakeable in my efforts to bring the change that is so desperately needed.
The 41-year-old Black man's death last March sparked nightly protests in Rochester, New York, after the video was released nearly six months later.
The video made public on Sept. 4 shows Prude handcuffed and naked with a spit hood over his head as an officer pushes his face against the ground. Lawyers for the seven police officers suspended over Prude's death have said they were strictly following their training.
The county medical examiner listed the manner of death as a homicide.
Please see the statement from Chief Herriott-Sullivan regarding the Grand Jury decision announced by the Attorney General. pic.twitter.com/9lU0WcG3aQ— Rochester NY Police (@RochesterNYPD) February 23, 2021
Pamela Karlan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and James P. Kennedy Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York, and Stephen A. Belongia, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Buffalo Field Office, released the following statement:
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York, the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are aware that a grand jury empaneled by the New York State Attorney General’s Office has concluded its investigation of the various officers of the Rochester Police Department who encountered Daniel Prude on March 23, 2020, and determined that no charges would be filed. We intend to review the comprehensive report issued by the New York State Attorney General, as well as any other relevant materials, and will determine whether any further federal response is warranted.”