‘System is broken’: Black community expresses anger, fatigue after officers cleared in Daniel Prude’s death

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – After news that a grand jury announced no criminal charges would be brought against the Rochester officers whose restraint of Daniel Prude may have caused his death, members of the city’s Black community expressed grief, anger and fatigue, along with a determination to set a new path forward.

As they did throughout fall 2020, people in Rochester took to the streets Tuesday evening, including more than 100 people who gathered at Jefferson Avenue and Samuel McCree Way, where Prude had encountered the police. No arrests and no apparent physical clashes with law enforcement were reported.

Protesters expressed frustration with the Rochester Police Department and the grand jury’s decision not to charge any officers in Prude’s death, which comes on the heels of similar findings in the high-profile cases of Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor. The Kenosha, Wisconsin, officer who shot Blake was not charged. One Louisville, Kentucky, officer was indicted on counts of wantonly endangering Taylor’s neighbors, but no officers were charged with killing Taylor herself. 

The full timeline:Daniel Prude died in March 2020 in Rochester, New York. How? What’s happened since?

“I’m not surprised,” N. Bryan Massey said. “This is another loss for the Black community – it hits harder when it’s coming from home.” Massey is founder of Educated THUG, an organization launched in Rochester to get young men out of gang culture and use their skills for social and economic change.

“This whole situation is just another reason not to trust the police,” Massey said.  “We must look inward for our comfort and be sure to come up with a positive plan for action to address this verdict.” 

Prude’s death last year set off nights of protest in Rochester after activists contended that police should not have been the primary responders to what was a mental health episode.

On March 23, 2020, police received a call of a man acting erratically in southwest Rochester and breaking windows. Police found Prude, who had been taken to a hospital hours earlier but not admitted, wandering the streets naked. Prude was restrained by three officers and lost oxygen to his brain while being pinned to the ground. 

source : usatoday

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