Video reveals police suffocation from March
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 9/03/20, 04:04 am
A black man with mental health issues died from asphyxiation after police officers in Rochester, N.Y., covered his head with a “spit hood” and pressed his face to the pavement for two minutes. Details from the March 23 incident surfaced after Daniel Prude’s family on Wednesday obtained video and reports from a public records request. New York Attorney General Letitia James said an investigation is ongoing. Protesters gathered Wednesday outside Rochester’s police headquarters and at the spot where Prude died, where they chanted and prayed.
What transpired during the arrest? Officers first took Prude into custody for a mental health evaluation on March 22 after he had suicidal thoughts. Police responded to a second call at 3 a.m the next day from his brother, who reported Prude had left the house. Police handcuffed Prude after locating him on the streets without clothes on. Officers said they covered his head with the hood over fears of COVID-19 as he became agitated and began spitting. As Prude demanded they remove the covering, one officer pressed his face against the pavement while another placed a knee on his back, urging him to calm down. Prude, who at the time had PCP in his system, died seven days later on March 30 after he was taken off life support.
Dig deeper: Read Anna Johansen’s report on her visit to Kenosha, Wis.
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