Daniel Prude mural unveiled at brother’s birthday celebration, arrested protesters speak out

Daniel Prude

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Joe Prude celebrated his birthday Thursday by using the day to hold a community party calling for justice for his brother Daniel.

The party held Thursday night followed a press conference held by police, where protesters were taken into police custody.

A mural of Daniel Prude can now be found looking down Child Street in Rochester. It was done just in time for his brother, Joe Prude’s birthday. 

“Oh that’s beautiful. They did an excellent job,” said Joe Prude.

Joe Prude spent his birthday holding a celebration of life, something he wished his brother could be there for. 

MORE | Minute-by-minute timeline of Daniel Prude’s encounter with Rochester Police on March 23

“Him standing here by me. But unfortunately I can’t get that. But guess what, he right here. So I’m just walking with it,” said Prude.

The birthday celebration follows a press conference held by the police locust club, where attorneys said police followed protocol and that Prudes’ cause of death was PCP.

The Attorney for the Prude family however believes police are attempting to shift the blame and says the actions are unjustifiable.

“It wasn’t our fault it was the victims fault, it was their training, it wasn’t my guy. Well what’s the problem with that? The problem with that is actually they violated their training. They violated their training in terms of doing the segmenting,” said Elliot Shields, Attorney Roth & Roth LLP.

Protester leaders with Free the People Rochester clashed with police outside the locust club. Organizer Ashley Gantt was taken into custody along with two adults and a 14-year-old girl-who were released later in the day and showed up to Prude’s birthday party. 

“They started putting handcuff on my sister before they put it on my mom,” said Maya Adams.

“She had been in handcuffs, she had been in the back of a police car when I got there,” said Ricardo Adams about his 14-year-old daughter being taking into custody.

“They were there questioning the ridiculousness of the press conference,” said Adams. “It’s crazy trying to change the narrative I was more upset about that then I was about getting arrested for my daughter.”

The group Thursday night was still calling for justice. 

“If your heart is leading you to stay truthful and trying to get these people to see what they’re doing is wrong just keep believing in your heart and follow your heart, if your heart telling you to continue go with me and my brother let’s keep doing it then,” said Joe Prude.

Lawyers say they will back in court in the upcoming weeks, to request more records of communication between city officials regarding Prude’s 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 on September 2.

The autopsy report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death of Prude a homicide. The report said 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.

Less than one-week Prude’s death became public, Police Chief Singletary announced his retirement — along with several other members of RPD’s command staff.

The following week, Mayor Lovely Warren fired Singletary before his effective retirement date and named Mark Simmons the interim Chief of Police. Simmons was then replaced by Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan last week.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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