Sep 16, 2020
Rochester officials tried for months to stall the release of body camera footage showing Daniel Prude's fatal encounter with police, documents show
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A makeshift memorial is seen, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Rochester, N.Y., near the site where Daniel Prude was restrained by police officers. Prude, a Black man who had run naked through the streets of the western New York city, died of asphyxiation after a group of police officers put a hood over his head, then pressed his face into the pavement for two minutes, according to video and records released Wednesday by his family.Prude died March 30 after he was taken off life support, seven days after the encounter with police in Rochester. AP Photo/Adrian Kraus
- Daniel Prude died on March 30, a week after police in Rochester, New York, put a spit hood over his head and held him to the ground until he became unconscious.
- Documents show law-enforcement leaders discussing footage of Daniel Prude's fatal encounter with police, saying they feared "blow back" from the community.
- The documents were part of the city's internal review released earlier this week.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Rochester police officers urged city officials to withhold body camera footage of Daniel Prude's fatal encounter with officials, according to internal emails released as part of an internal investigation into the incident.
In a report on the internal investigation released earlier this week, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said Chief La'Ron Singletary, who she fired on Monday, "did not immediately recognized the significance" of Prude's death.
Prude died on March 30, a week after police put a spit hood over his head and held him to the ground until he became unconscious. Prude's brother has said he called 911 because Prude was experiencing a mental health crisis.
Video of the incident was finally released to the public on September 4, more than five months after Prude's death.
In the city's review of the incident, investigators gathered more than 300 pages of emails and documents in which police officers and officials discussed Prude's death.
Documents show Deputy Police Chief Mark Simmons, who is now the city's acting police chief, advising Singletary to deny Prude's family's lawyer access to body camera footage.
"We certainly do not want people to misinterpret the officers' actions and conflate this incident with any recent killings of unarmed black men by law enforcement nationally," Simmons wrote. "That would simply be a false narrative, and could create animosity and potentially violent blow back in this community as a result."
Lt. Mike Perkowski said in another email that he was "very concerned" about releasing the body camera footage "in light of what is going on," referencing ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
In other emails, officials say they're denying requests for the video because of health privacy laws and ongoing investigations.
Prude's family lawyer eventually obtained the video, and released it to the public in early September.
In her report on the internal investigation, Mayor Warren said she was not aware of police footage of the incident until August 4.
She criticized the video and actions taken by police, saying they "reveal that the culture of acceptance and insularity is more pervasive than we realized."
In her report she recommended the US Justice Department conduct an investigation.
"It is hard to rationalize how anyone who saw the video of Mr. Prude's encounter with the RPD did not fully equate these events beyond a few mentions of bad publicity, politics, process or a 'false narrative,'" she said.
"Rochester is in desperate need of healing. We lost almost six months of opportunity to begin that process and also have done considerable damage to the good work this City has undertaken to improve the relationships between the police and the public they serve," Warren added.
- Read more:
- Rochester Police department's entire command staff, including its chief, have resigned over the death of Daniel Prude
- Video shows a driver spraying Rochester Black Lives Matter demonstrators with a yellow substance, then hitting a protester with their car
- New York's attorney general is forming a grand jury for the death of Daniel Prude, who suffocated after police put him in a 'spit hood'
- Daniel Prude's family called the police to help with his mental health crisis: 'I didn't call them to come help my brother die'
News Source: insider.com
Bodycam footage of police officer shooting autistic teen paints painfully grim picture after mother calls cops on sick son — who is afraid of police
Salt Lake City authorities released the footage on Monday, showing an unnamed officer shooting 13-year-old Linden Cameron during a Sept. 9 encounter in the city.
Linden's mother, Golda Barton, phoned authorities when her son reportedly began experiencing a mental health emergency.
"He's sick," Barton told the dispatcher who answered the emergency call. "He needs to go to the hospital."
Barton also told dispatchers that she was looking for a crisis intervention team to assist her son. She added, however, that her son had threatened to shoot one of her co-workers and break the windows in their home.
She also told dispatchers that her son had been involved in a "shootout" in Nevada, as well as a high-speed chase with police, according to audio released by the department.
Barton told dispatchers during the call that her father was reportedly killed by a sheriff's deputy earlier in the year and that her son "does not like cops at all."
"That's why we need a mental health worker," she added. "It's super important."
SLCPD 911 calls from September 4, 2020 www.youtube.com
According to previous reports, the child suffers from Asperger's syndrome and experiences separation anxiety.
Salt Lake City police officers responded to Barton's home, where she told them that her son — whom she described as an out-of-control narcissist —was experiencing a mental health episode.
Barton, in the video, told the officers her son likely had a BB gun or pellet gun or prop gun, adding that she did not believe it was a real gun.
Responding officers told Barton that even if the teen was not armed that they would have to proceed and approach him as if he were, according to protocol.
"Unfortunately, we have to treat them all as if they are," an officer told her.
Barton told the officers that she understood.
She remained behind as the officers began chasing the teen and demanding that he stop. When he refused, an officer fired several shots at the teen, striking him.
While on the ground, the teen said, "I don't feel good. Tell my mom I love her."
At the time, Sgt. Keith Horrocks of the Salt Lake City Police Department said that officers were responding to a call reporting a "violent psych issue" involving a juvenile "having a mental health episode" and "making threats to some folks with a weapon."
None of the officers involved in the call have been identified at the time of this reporting, and the department has not yet announced whether any of the officers involved in the call were placed on administrative duty pending an investigation.
An independent police investigation is being conducted.
A GoFundMe page for the teen, who is still hospitalized, and his family has received more than $99,000 in donations at the time of this writing.
Content warning: rough language and disturbing imagery
20-1597272 Body-Worn Camera Footage www.youtube.comAnything else
On Monday, former Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank said that he couldn't understand how an officer of the law could shoot a 13-year-old even in crisis.
"This is not an adult in mental health crisis. This is a 13-year-old," he told KSL-FM. "I don't know why you get to the point where you pull your gun out of the holster in this circumstance."
He added, "I'm really struggling to understand why deadly force was used, when there are so many other options available to police today. There is hands-on physical, there are tasers, there is pepper spray, there are batons. What was it that caused the need for a physical confrontation? The threat to the community was minimal, if at all."
"If [Cameron] had a gun and pointed it at a police officer," he insisted. "That is the only [rational] explanation in my mind."