The family of Daniel Prude, who died after he stopped breathing while restrained by police, said Wednesday that footage from body-worn cameras is proof that officers committed a crime.
Daniel’s brother, Joe Prude, said the videos are indisputable proof that the Rochester police committed a crime after a grand jury declined to recommend criminal charges against the officers involved, the Associated Press reported Thursday. Daniel died after officers pressed his head into the pavement and immobilized him after he ran from Joe’s home while under the influence of PCP.
Daniel said “they’re trying to kill me,” body camera video shows, the AP reported. “And they ended up killing him,” Joe said, according to The AP.
Joe called the officers asking for help and when they restrained Daniel, he was handcuffed face down and wearing a “spit hood” over his head, The AP reported. Daniel vomited and stopped breathing around two minutes into the restraint, he was taken to a hospital and put on life support and died about a week later.
A grand jury decided Tuesday that the officers would not face criminal charges, The AP reported. Attorneys for the seven officers involved in Daniel’s death said the body camera footage shows officers correctly performing their duties, and praised the jury’s decision.
“What a terribly unfortunate result that Daniel Prude did not survive,” Dan Mastrella, an attorney representing one of the officers said, The AP reported. “What the police officers could have done differently escapes me.”
The attorney’s argued the PCP in Daniel’s system caused his death since it causes irrational behavior, The AP reported. New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a report that officers should be trained to recognize signs leading to cardiac arrest like “excited delirium syndrome,” which contributed to Daniel’s death.
“I know what it looks like and I understand why people are upset …. (but) what I saw on that tape that night was cops doing their jobs,” another attorney representing an officer, James Nobles said, The AP reported. (RELATED: Protesters Take To The Street After Grand Jury Votes Not To Charge Officers Involved In Daniel Prude’s Death)
One of Daniel’s children, Nathaniel McFarland said it didn’t come as a surprise that the officers weren’t charged, though he was hopeful his father’s case would be different given the video evidence, The AP reported.
“The fact that it was all captured on video makes it all the more difficult for them to accept this outcome,” McFarland’s attorney Stephen Schwarz said, The AP reported.
The officers are suspended pending the results of an internal investigation, according to The AP.
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