The brother of a man from Chicago who died days after an encounter with police in Rochester, New York earlier this year, voiced a desperate plea for justice on the same day the officers involved in his brother's death were suspended.
Daniel Prude, 41, known to his big Chicago-based family by the nickname “Rell,” died March 30 after he was taken off life support, seven days after the encounter with police in Rochester.
"Only thing they told me was they apprehended my brother,” said Joe Prude. “They never told me nothing about that my brother placed on life support, he stopped breathing at the scene of the crime."
The officers had stopped Prude, who was nude at the time, after 3 a.m. on March 23, according to police body camera video obtained by his family and released to the media, NBC News reports. According to family, the father of five adult children was experiencing a mental health crisis.
“He’s not a threat to nobody but himself,” said Joe Prude.
Officers cuffed him, placed him on the wet street face down, put a spit hood on him, and pushed his head into the asphalt and placed a knee on his back, the video appears to show.
Prude had told police he suffered from COVID-19, prompting officers to put the hood on his head, apparently to prevent him from spitting on them.
“I really do believe they were dishonest with what they did because never should it took that long for the family to realize what happened to their family member,” said Joe Prude, Daniel’s brother.
An autopsy report lists Prude’s cause of death by complications of asphyxia in the setting of a physical restraint, excited delirium and acute PCP intoxication.
"I think we are all looking forward to finding out what happened and how this can be avoided in the future," said Prude family attorney Frank Ciardi.
On Thursday, the mayor of Rochester, New York, issued a public apology.
"Experiencing and ultimately dying from a drug overdose in police custody as I was told by the Chief is entirely different than what I ultimately witnessed on the video,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely Ann Warren.