2 Months Before Floyd, There Was Daniel Prude

Daniel Prude killed by officers
Daniel Prude photo provided by family

Rochester Police Video Just Released

Two months before the murder of George Floyd, on March 23, the brother of Daniel Prude called police to say his brother was acting strange. Daniel Prude had run out of the house in long underware and a t-shirt. By the time police found Daniel,  he was naked. They told him to get on the ground, which he did and then they handcuffed him. Whether it was drugs or a mental health problem, Mr. Prude was obviously suffering from some type of issue. Officers left the naked man on the street even though it was snowing. No effort appears to have been made to provide any kind of protection from the weather.

Mr. Prude kept saying strange things and asking to be released. He also spit a few times on the street. He never spit at the officers but they decided to put a spit mask on him. This increased Mr. Prude’s agitation and he began rolling around on the ground. According to the Chicago Sun Times,

“An officer identified in the video as Mark Vaughn uses both hands with much of his weight behind them to push the side of Prude’s head into the pavement, essentially doing a triangle push-up. The approach was different but reminiscent of the way George Floyd’s neck was compressed by an officer’s knee on May 25.

Another officer, identified as Troy Talladay, used his knee at one point to hold down Prude’s torso, and a third held down his legs.

Vaughn, in the report he wrote of the incident, said he had “segmented” Prude’s head. He also wrote that he used a “hypoglossal nerve technique,” which involves jamming fingers into a nerve below the jaw to cause pain and persuade a subject to comply.”

Mr. Prude’s motions slow to a stop. Even his chest stops moving. Officers get off of him and Officer Vaughn sees water spill out of Prude’s mouth. At this point they realize the situation is a medical emergency though no one, not even the EMTs, are showing any urgency.

New York Medical Examiner’s Office Determination

Mr. Prude was revived but he was brain dead due to a lack of oxygen. A week later, the family gave their permission for Daniel Prude to be removed from life support and he died.  According to the autopsy report, Daniel Prude’s death was a homicide and was caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.” In other words, he was suffocated due to the way he was held still with the officers’ body weight. It was also noted that Mr. Prude “had a small amount of PCP in his system at the time of his death, which could explain his erratic behavior.”

Attorney General Reviewing the Case

Though this happened several months ago, and the death was ruled a homicide, the officers have not faced ANY kind of action against them. The Rochester Police Department has just now released the video. “Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary repeated several times: ‘This is not a cover-up. Let me be clear when I say this – there was no cover-up.’” According to CBS Chicago, “Per an executive order from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in May, state Attorney General Letitia James will investigate all cases in which law enforcement officers are involved in civilians’ deaths.”

There are multiple video with several different perspectives. We’ve inserted one from a news station. It just shows a little of what happened to Mr. Prude. There are others on YouTube that show the extended amount of time the officers placed pressure on Mr. Prude’s body, cutting off his air supply.

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