Rochester reflects on one year since the death of George Floyd

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It was a moment in history we all will remember: learning the former Minneapolis police officer had his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.

Here in Rochester, and nationwide, a movement picked up momentum. People marched through streets amid the pandemic chanting, “no justice no peace” and “say his name.”

Community Justice Initiative is one of the activist groups that came together more formally after these events.

Activist Tatiana Welch says after Floyd – it was Daniel Prude – and then the 9 year old girl pepper-sprayed by police.

These events inspired work: writing bills, and grabbing attention of the city through more protests.

One of those bills is Daniel’s Law – a legislation that would establish state and regional mental health response councils specifically for mental health emergency calls, like the one of Daniel Prude.

“They want people in power to listen to them, want funds to be reallocated, you know we use the word defunding, when we say that we mean reallocation to better services including mental health, the FIT team, redoing the PIC team a little flaws there,” said Welch.

And a better mental health response is what Joe Prude wanted for his brother – Daniel– who died after an encounter with police last March. Officers involved were not indicted by a grand jury.

Prude says every passing day is another day without justice.

“My brother had a person on his head, back and his legs,” he said.

“I told you, my brother isn’t a threat to nobody, you went and killed him anyway so how am I supposed to feel,” he said.

Officer Derek Chauvin in Floyd’s death was convicted of murder. Floyd’s family is meeting with President Biden today – to discuss a policing bill. The bill would aim to make it easier to prosecute police –ban chokeholds – and create a national police misconduct registry so fired officers cannot be hired by another department.

Prude’s lawyer says they’re pushing for a full release of records relating to what happened to Daniel Prude that night, calling it a cover-up by city officials. He says the Department of Justice could bring federal charges against the officers – that is the only possibility for further criminal charges at this point.

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