A crowd of somber but outraged protesters in Rochester, upstate New York, endured bitter chilly on Tuesday evening to decry a grand jury’s failure to indict native cops for the dying of Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old Black man who was on the town visiting kinfolk, final March.
“This isn’t what we anticipated. This isn’t what we wished. And till there may be justice on this system, they won’t get no peace from us,” mentioned protester Jay Johnson.
After taking on the case towards the officers, who put Prude in a hood and held him bare on the freezing avenue, and presenting “the most comprehensive case possible”, Letitia James, New York’s lawyer normal, mentioned her workplace had “sought a distinct end result than the one the grand jury handed us”.
A grand jury is seated and considers a felony case from prosecutors behind closed doorways, earlier than asserting whether or not it believes costs needs to be filed.
“The felony justice system has pissed off efforts to carry legislation enforcement officers accountable for the unjustified killing of unarmed African People, and what binds these circumstances is a tragic lack of life in circumstances wherein the dying may have been prevented,” James mentioned in an emotional news conference on Tuesday.
On Tuesday night, protesters walked by visitors and alongside the freeway in Rochester, as one particular person yelled: “Inform the cops, ‘cease killing Black individuals,’” in line with video from a local photojournalist.
“White supremacy protects white supremacists,” mentioned organizer Stanley Martin. “[The system] will not be meant to guard us. The system did precisely what it was meant to do.”
Prude, who was from Chicago however was visiting his brother in Rochester final spring, was experiencing a psychological well being episode when cops handcuffed him, and, amid the spreading coronavirus pandemic, thrust a hood over his head meant to guard them from an individual spitting, and held his physique to the bottom.
Quickly, he misplaced consciousness and needed to be resuscitated, however by no means regained consciousness. He was taken off life assist every week later.
The medical expert dominated that his dying was a murder resulting from “issues of asphyxia within the setting of bodily restraint”. “Excited delirium” and phencyclidine (PCP) intoxication – a drug his associates say he used more after his shut nephew’s dying in 2018 – also contributed.
An skilled in restraint-related dying in the end concluded that Prude died from cardiac arrest, in line with a report launched by James’s workplace. One other skilled in police procedures felt that some conduct by the officers concerned was “opposite to acceptable police apply”, although most of their actions have been “cheap” below the circumstances.
Seven members of the Rochester police division stay on go away amid an internal investigation.
Prude’s dying was amongst a sequence of high-profile, deadly cases of police aggression towards black individuals in 2020, together with the deaths of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and George Floyd in Minnesota. Outrage over the US’s historical past of race-based policing sparked widespread protests final summer time in a significant revival for the Black Lives Matter civil rights motion.
“The system too typically permits officers to make use of lethal drive unnecessarily and with out consequence,” James mentioned. “And that may be a system that at its core is damaged.”