Attorney for Daniel Prude’s family sues City of Rochester for delaying release of documents, videos

Daniel Prude

In this image taken from police body camera video provided by Roth and Roth LLP, a Rochester police officer puts a hood over the head of Daniel Prude, on March 23, 2020, in Rochester, N.Y. Video of Prude, a Black man who had run naked through the streets of the western New York city, 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, according to video and records released Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, by his family. Prude died March 30 after he was taken off life support, seven days after the encounter with police in Rochester. (Rochester Police via Roth and Roth LLP via AP)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Elliot Shields, an attorney represent the family of Daniel Prude, has filed a lawsuit against the City of Rochester for delaying the release of video and documents pertaining to Prude’s death.

The lawsuit was filed Friday, and cites documents which were included in City of Rochester’s 323-page preliminary report into Prude’s death.

MORE | Breaking down City of Rochester’s 323-page report into Daniel Prude death investigation

The lawsuit saws City of Rochester officials deliberately delayed the release of records, including body worn camera footage. The lawsuit seeks “awarding attorney’s fees and costs in favor of Petitioner against Respondent in an amount to be determined at the conclusion of this proceeding, pursuant to POL § 89(4)(c); and c. Granting Petitioner such other and further relief as this Court may
deem just and proper.”

Full lawsuit

Prude, a 41-year-old Black man from Chicago, died after an encounter with Rochester police back in March, but news of the incident just came to light on September 2, and now the case is being investigated by the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

The autopsy report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death of Prude a homicide. The report says Prude’s cause of death includes “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.” The report also showed that Prude also had a small amount of PCP in his system at the time of his death, which could explain his erratic behavior.

A federal civil lawsuit filed from the Prude family against the City of Rochester alleges there was an internal cover-up. Aside from Singletary, several other high-ranking members within the RPD’s command staff have also announced retirements.

MORE | Daniel Prude timeline: From March encounter with police to current protests in Rochester

Seven Rochester police officers have been suspended with pay in connection to the incident: Officers Mark Vaughn, Troy Taladay, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris, and Sgt. Michael Magri.

Protests have been ongoing in Rochester since the news broke September 2.

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