The direction of a New York state police force has stepped down following the death of a black man that was hooded and controlled during an arrest.
Announcing his retirement, Rochester police chief La’Ron Singletary said he couldn’t stand by as his handling of the situation was being twisted.
Following the sudden resignation of Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall Tuesday, the total number of police chiefs throughout the nation that have resigned directly because of Black Lives Matter protests and systemic racism attained at 20 since May.
Following a tumultuous few months that have uncovered cases of extreme police violence against Black people and compelled intense scrutiny of law enforcement, a tide of police chief resignations have struck multiple cities across the U.S.. In states like New York, Georgia, Washington and Virginia, police chiefs were called to resign by their respective communities for their handling of protests, as well as for events involving police brutality and systemic racism. But, her leadership through widespread protests after the death of George Floyd in the control of Minneapolis police and the harsh measures utilized by the Dallas PD against protesters in the city were intensely critiqued by City Council members.
FACT: BLM will call you racist for saying George Floyd is a criminal before they say what’s seen in this video is racist. https://t.co/onOYO5F8rT— Brendon Leslie (@BrendonLeslie) September 9, 2020
Chief La’Ron D. Singletary of Rochester, New York also resigned this week, combined with two deputy chiefs used with the Rochester Police Department, after protests triggered by the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died a week later he had been taken into custody by Rochester police offices. The officers placed a spit tote over Prude’s head and pinned him to the ground, an autopsy performed by the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office said he died from asphyxia”in the setting of bodily restraint.”
Mr Prude, 41, has been said to be suffering from severe mental health issues when police were called. Doctors found him running nude in the road in light snowfall and controlled him with a”spit hood”, which is intended to protect police from detainees’ saliva.
In Minneapolis, Where George Floyd Was Killed, Black Drivers Are Five Times More Likely to be Stopped by Police Than White Drivers: Analysis https://t.co/7REgXY0wig— #TuckFrump (@realTuckFrumper) September 9, 2020
His brother, Joe Prude, had called 911 looking for help for Daniel Prude’s unusual behavior twice within an 11-hour time period. He had been taken to Strong Memorial Hospital for a mental health test the evening before but was published after a few hours, his brother told officers. According to authorities body camera footage, Joe Prude also told officers his brother was high on PCP, or phencyclidine, that is a DEA Schedule II controlled dangerous antipsychotic medication.
“He tried to hurt himself because he jumped 21 stairs in my basement — head first,” Joe Prude supposedly told Rochester police the very first time that they reacted to his address around 4 p.m., according to WHAM. “He was attempting to harm himself.”
An autopsy report in the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Daniel Prude died by”complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint” and classified the way of death a homicide. Toxicology studies demonstrated he was below”acute phencyclidine intoxication” at the time, as demonstrated by a copy of the report obtained by WROC.
It remains unclear why Prude was released from the hospital following his brother’s initial 911 call instead of being involuntarily committed.
Strong Memorial Hospital is a subsidiary at the University of Rochester Medical Center, which issued a statement saying it reviewed the maintenance offered to Daniel Prude in the hours prior to the police restraint that allegedly led to his death and said it was”clinically suitable and compassionate.” Medical privacy laws stop the hospital from discharging extra information regarding Prude without consent from family members.
Under state law, a psychiatric emergency constitutes an example where there is”reasonable cause to believe that the individual has a mental illness for which immediate observation, care and treatment at a hospital is appropriate and which is likely to result in serious harm to him/ herself or others.”
To be able to classify as a psychiatric emergency, a peace or a police officer should transport the individual into the hospital. The patient might be involuntarily held in the hospital for up to 72 hours, or up to 15 days depending on an evaluation with a psychiatrist. But someone who recovers by an instance of substance abuse can refuse treatment at any time, WHAM reported.
“Those people cannot be held against their will once they are back to their baseline and therefore are no longer displaying behaviours that were in question,” Dr. Mary Marrocco, medical director of Behavioral Health and Emergency and Consult Services in Rochester Regional Health, told the station. She is not directly linked to Prude’s situation but talked generally about New York’s Mental Hygiene Law. We do not want to take people’s liberty away from them if there is not a compelling reason to do so,” Marrocco said.