ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Mayor Lovely Warren says she didn’t know the Daniel Prude case involved anything other than a drug overdose until she saw the body camera footage on August 4.
She’s been under fire for failing to let the community know after that. News of Prude’s death first became public when his family released police worn body camera footage on September 2.
Wednesday on WXXI Connections, City Council President Loretta Scott said that on August 20, Mayor Warren told her about Prude’s death — but only mentioned the drug overdose.
All of this brought about response from City Hall. It was within two days of seeing the video in early August, the mayor fully briefed Scott about the matter — and Scott never requested to see the video.
This is what Director of Communications for the City of Rochester, Justin Roj said in a statement in response to Scott’s appearance on WXXI:
“Within 48 hours of Mayor Warren seeing the video regarding the death of Mr. Prude, she fully briefed President Scott regarding the incident, including the family’s notice of claim, the Medical Examiner’s findings and the Attorney General’s investigation.
Since the City of Rochester implemented body-worn cameras for its officers in 2016, City Councilmembers have requested and reviewed video of physical altercations involving our officers on numerous occasions.
At no time, after being briefed in full by the Mayor, did President Scott request to see the video of Mr. Prude’s death.”
Here’s what Scott had to say in response to Roj’s statement:
“The first time I heard the name Daniel Prude and learned of the officer involvement in his death was the morning of September 2, 2020, when the family of Mr. Prude held a press conference.
The first time I saw the footage of Mr. Prude’s arrest on March 23, 2020, was when this video was released to the media and made available to the public.
What I recall from my conversation with the Mayor is that she shared that a lawsuit had been filed against the City by the family of a man who died in the hospital under police custody. I was told the individual was high on PCP and had died of an overdose. At no point was I told that there was use of force by officers and there was no mention of having seen a disturbing video. At the conclusion of this conversation, the Mayor asked that this information be held in confidence for the time being as the matter was in the hands of the Attorney General.
Today on WXXI’s Connections, I made an estimate of the date as August 20th, I have since checked my phone records, and feel confident that this call would have happened on either August 6th or August 8th. It is not an uncommon occurrence for me to have quick conversations with the Mayor that detail numerous pieces of information.
Had I been told about a gruesome video or the use of force by officers, I certainly would have insisted to see the video myself, as Council has done in the past. I would have involved the Vice President who Chairs the Public Safety Committee and would have asked that the Council be briefed; the Mayor and I have very different recollections of that phone call.
There is still much to be learned on this topic, and we will continue to pursue an independent investigation into this matter.“
MORE | WATCH: Footage of encounter between Daniel Prude and Rochester police officers before his death
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 Wednesday, 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.
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.
A federal civil lawsuit filed from the Prude family against the City of Rochester alleges there was an internal cover-up. Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, and other command staff within the department, have since announced their retirements.
Protests have been ongoing in Rochester since the news broke Wednesday. This page will serve to document those protests.
This is an ongoing story. News 8 will provide updates as they become available.
- Free the People ROC hosts town hall on policing and public health
- 8th straight night of Daniel Prude protests in Rochester concludes peacefully
- City Council president says Mayor Warren told her on August 20 that Prude’s death was an overdose
- City of Rochester officials say police union president received Daniel Prude video in April
- Rochester police union president, Mayor Lovely Warren call on each other to resign
- Two men facing federal charges in connection to Saturday’s Daniel Prude protest in Rochester
- RASE Commission Co-Chair calls for a cease-fire between police, protesters in Rochester
- Adam Bello: The county spends $40 million on mental health, ‘clearly it’s not working’
- ‘BLM’, ‘Murderers’ painted on Rochester streets during 7th straight night of Daniel Prude protests
- Rochester police union on RPD shake-up: ‘Problems of leadership go directly to the mayor’s office’
- Daniel Prude’s family files lawsuit against City of Rochester, demands a jury trial
- Mayor Lovely Warren on future of Rochester Police Department: ‘I do not have all the answers today’
- Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, more RPD command staff retires in wake of Daniel Prude death
- Naked with spit hoods: Rochester protesters demonstrate in solidarity with Daniel Prude
- Monday’s Daniel Prude protest in Rochester ends peacefully after police declare unlawful assembly
- Kenneth Morris Jr. calls for change in wake of Daniel Prude’s death
- President Trump says Rochester is ‘weakly run by radical left’ after a night of peaceful protests
- With prayer and songs, local activists and elders call for change and transparency for Daniel Prude
- Community Justice Initiative addresses Rochester police militarization tactics
- Councilmember Malik Evans calls for independent investigation into Prude’s death
- Mayor Warren, Chief Singletary address violent protests in wake of Daniel Prude’s death in Rochester
- Save Rochester BLM apologizes to Rev. Stewart, said goal is to continue protests and marches
- Police use of spit hoods scrutinized after Daniel Prude’s death in Rochester
- City Hall windows cracked, 9 arrested, alleged excessive force by RPD at Daniel Prude protest in Rochester
- Depew Police say Daniel Prude was asked to leave Amtrak train on March 22, day before police encounter
- Rochester police union: Chief’s office said ‘no concern of actions’ by officers at Daniel Prude scene
- Community Justice Initiative: ‘Saturday night was a war zone, RPD did not let up at all’
- Mental health experts: Prude needed help, not police
- 8 arrested, 2 officers injured, pepper spray deployed during Daniel Prude protest in Rochester
- Mayor Lovely Warren: RPD Chief told me Daniel Prude died from an apparent drug overdose
- Daniel Prude’s brother: ‘He didn’t have history of mental health issues’
- Gov. Cuomo on Daniel Prude death: ‘What I saw was deeply disturbing and I demand answers’
- 7 Rochester police officers involved in Daniel Prude death suspended with pay
- Daniel Prude, Black man killed by Rochester police, remembered as loving
- Rochester civil rights groups demand firing, prosecution of officers involved in Daniel Prude’s death
- Protests in Rochester after bodycam video surfaces in death of Daniel Prude
- Daniel Prude’s family demands justice for ‘cold-blooded murder’
- Protest in Rochester sparks after news of Daniel Prude’s death
- Autopsy report: Daniel Prude death ruled a homicide, died from asphyxia due to ‘physical restraint’
- 9 arrested in Rochester during protest at Public Safety Building over Daniel Prude’s death
- WATCH: Footage of encounter between Daniel Prude and Rochester police officers before his death
- Daniel Prude’s death, police encounter caught on body camera sparks NY AG investigation, protests in Rochester