Seven police officers from Rochester, New York, have been suspended after body cam footage was released this week that shows the March arrest of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died by asphyxiation in March after police put a hood over his head apparently to prevent his spit from possibly transmitting the novel coronavirus, as he knelt on the ground, handcuffed and naked.
Forty-one-year-old Prude can be heard shouting "you're trying to kill me!" and officers saying "calm down" and "stop spitting."
Minutes later, Prude is silent, reportedly unconscious. The video then shows Prude being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher. He died seven days later.
On Wednesday, the family called for the arrest of the police officers involved.
His brother, Joe Prude, said he called police that night that night because he was worried when Daniel, who he said had struggled with mental health, left home in an erratic state.
"I placed a phone call for my brother to get help, not for my brother to get lynched,"
On Thursday, Daniel Prude’s 18-year-old daughter Tashyra Prude, a college student in Tennessee, spoke out via video conference with her lawyers.
“My father did not resist, he did not fight...this case was simply just a case of police brutality and racism. A racist police officer saw a black man in need and decided that he just didn't deserve to live."
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren on Thursday said she had seen the body cam footage in August but did not say anything about it publicly, advised to wait until the investigation was over.
“Mr. Daniel Prude was failed by our police department, our mental health care system, our society, and he was failed by me.”
The Monroe County medical examiner ruled Prude’s death a homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint,” according to an autopsy report, the New York Times reported.
The report also said that acute intoxication of the drug PCP was a contributing factor.
Prude's death occurred two months before the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police spurred international protests against police brutality and racial injustice in the United States.