Protesters march in Rochester after no officers charged in Daniel Prude’s death


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (NewsNation Now) — Protesters gathered Tuesday night on Rochester’s Jefferson Avenue, where Daniel Prude stopped breathing after an encounter with police last March.

Crowds marched to the city’s Public Safety Building while pausing to talk about their request for New York to pass Daniel’s Law, which would reform how mental health calls are handled by police.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office declared the gathering unlawful at around midnight, asking activists to “disperse immediately or face arrest.” The crowd eventually dispersed. No arrests or injuries were reported during the demonstrations.

This comes after New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced a grand jury’s decision not to charge any police officers in connection with Prude’s death.

The grand jury minutes will be made public after a New York court approved James’ request to unseal them for the public record. The DOJ also announced they would be looking into the Prude case and a possible federal response.

Prude, a 41-year-old Black man from Chicago, died after an encounter with Rochester police back in March, but news of the incident just came to light in September.

Officers found Prude running naked down the street, handcuffed him and put a mesh hood over his head to stop him from spitting, then held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing.

Prude had been evaluated at a hospital for odd behavior a day earlier, but he wasn’t admitted. His family called police because they were concerned about Prude’s safety after he bolted from the house.

“The system failed Daniel Prude again,” Prude family lawyer Elliot Shields said of the grand jury’s decision. “It failed him on March 22 when he was released from the hospital. It failed him on the night of March 23 when the police used deadly force against him. And it failed him again today.”

The Rochester police union said in a statement it would not immediately comment.

The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliates WROC and WIVB contributed to this report.

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