The chief of police in Rochester, New York, announced on Tuesday that he was leaving his post. Several of his men were accused of causing death by strangling a black man Daniel Prude during his arrest in March 2020.
“I am a person with integrity and I will not stand still when external forces try to discredit me.” In his words, Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary justified his resignation after the death in March 2020 of a black American during his arrest, in a statement released on Tuesday, September 8.
In particular, he considers that what has been said about his alleged lack of initiative, even though his alleged attempt to cover the case after the tragedy is “a distorted presentation” and that he is the victim of a “politicization” of the case. . The 40-year-old La’Ron Singletary, also black, was appointed chief of the Rochester Police Department in April 2019, where he spent twenty years before exercising his right to a pension.
During the arrest of Daniel Prude, who goes back to March but as a video was published last week, a policeman presses with both hands on a hood placed on his head and the man loses consciousness. Tormented by a psychotic episode when he was arrested, he died a week later in hospital without ever coming out of a coma.
Naked on the street when police arrived, Daniel Prude was unarmed and was quickly handcuffed before one of the police officers put a hood over his head to prevent him from spitting at police because he said he had contracted the coronavirus.
Convening of a grand jury
The seven officials present were all suspended pending the results of the investigation by New York State Attorney Letitia James. The latter announced on Saturday that it would convene a grand jury, one step before a possible prosecution.
The forensic institute concluded after an autopsy that Daniel Prude’s death was a murder, linked to “suffocation due to a physical limitation”.
The scandal has sparked protests in Rochester, as well as in New York, demanding justice and reforms for Rochester police.
Daniel Prude’s death repeats George Floyds or Breonna Taylor, also black, during violent arrests that have sparked hundreds of protests in the United States since May.