Police officers in charge of hooding Daniel Prude, a black man who eventually died on the approach after having his head rested on the asphalt until he lost consciousness, will not be charged, police said on Tuesday. responsible.
The decision not to press charges was made by a grand jury tasked with investigating the incident, according to the New York Times.
The case of Prude, who suffered from mental illness in Rochester, New York, further sparked protests against racism and police violence that escalated last year after several blacks were killed in approaches, such as Breonna. Taylor and George Floyd.
Public records have shown that the Rochester Police Department attempted to hide the circumstances of Prude’s death – recorded on cameras in officers’ uniforms. After the case, the police commander was released.
The victim was visiting his brother in March of last year when he apparently took a psychotic break. He ran down the street naked and was handcuffed by the police. Prude had told at least one person on the street that he had coronavirus and, on approach, began to spit. The officers then hooded him.
When the black man tried to get up, the police forced him with his face on the ground, with one pushing his head onto the asphalt, according to camera footage in a police uniform. Prude remained in this position for two minutes and had to be resuscitated, but eventually died in hospital a week later.
His death was characterized as a homicide. For months, police reports showed the cause of death was overdose, as the autopsy revealed phencyclidine, also known as angel powder, but medical expertise determined the reason was asphyxiation.
The case did not emerge until September. Seven officers involved in Prude’s death will not be charged: police officers Josiah Harris, Francisco Santiago, Paul Ricotta, Andrew Specksgoor, Mark Vaughn and Troy Taladay, as well as Sergeant Michael Magri.
The cases of blacks killed in police approaches sparked a series of protests that spread across the United States and several countries. The murder of George Floyd, suffocated by the knee of a white policeman, last May, was the trigger.
In Rochester, protests intensified after images of Prude’s death were broadcast. At least one peaceful act involving around 2,000 people was quelled by police, who claimed the protest was illegal, with tear gas, peppercorns and batons.
After the action, some protesters retaliated with stones, bottles and fireworks.