Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced that she fired Police Chief La’Ron Singletary and called for a federal investigation into the death of Daniel Prude — a Black man who died after a police encounter in March.
Warren’s announcement comes after Singletary and other senior police command officials announced their resignations. Singletary planned on leaving on Sept. 29.
Warren also announced she would suspend Corporation Counsel Tim Curtin and Communications Director Justin Roj without pay for 30 days after a review of Prude’s death.
“This initial look has shown what so many have suspected, that we have a pervasive problem in the Rochester Police Department,” Warren said during a press conference on Monday.
She continued, “One that views everything through the eyes of the badge and not the citizens we serve. It shows that Mr. Prude’s death was not taken as seriously as it should have been by those who reviewed the case throughout city government at every level.”
“Frankly, the public should have been informed of Mr. Prude’s death and the circumstances that led to his death in March, and after seeing the video, I should have conducted a formal review.”
“The culture of policing in Rochester must change,” she added.
In March, Rochester police officers encountered Prude running naked in a street. They handcuffed him and placed a bag over his head to prevent him from spitting and held him down for roughly two minutes.
He died roughly two weeks later.
A medical examiner said Prude died from “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.”
Rochester has experienced two weeks of protests after a video of the encounter was released by Prude’s family.