Anger rises after the death of Daniel Prude, suffocated in March, 7 police officers suspended

Joe (right) and Armin Prude, brother and son of Daniel Prude, who died of suffocation by police in March 2020 (photo taken September 3, 2020). – Ted Shaffrey / AP / SIPA

More than three months after George Floyd, died of suffocation under the knee of a police officer, America is indignant today for Daniel Prude. This 41-year-old African-American, suffering from psychological disorders, who wandered naked in the street, died of suffocation by police officers last March in New York State. Officers placed a bag over his head – to protect himself from his sputum amid the coronavirus pandemic – then pinned him to the ground for two minutes while it was snowing, according to a video posted by his family on Wednesday.

The mayor of Rochester, Lovely Warren, who is African-American, said she was “shocked” and announced the suspension of the seven police officers present during the arrest. The prosecutor assured that an investigation was underway, without explaining why no sanction had been taken so far, while the forensic institute concluded that the death was a homicide, linked to a ” asphyxiation following a physical constraint ”.

Dozens of people gathered on Wednesday and Thursday to demonstrate outside the public safety headquarters in Rochester. More rallies are scheduled in many U.S. cities Thursday evening, as an 18-year-old black youth was killed by police in Washington on Wednesday, and an African-American was shot dead in Los Angeles on Monday.

“They are trying to kill me”

The case dates back to March 23. The police intervene after an emergency call from the victim’s brother, worried because Daniel Prude was seized with psychological disorders. Once there, a police officer finds Daniel Prude lying on the ground in the street, naked, and handcuffed, according to images released Wednesday.

Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old American, died of suffocation by Rochester police in March 2020. – Police
Daniel Prude was pinned to the ground for more than 2 minutes by the police.
Daniel Prude was pinned to the ground for more than 2 minutes by the police. – Police

As the 41-year-old makes incoherent comments, a police officer places a canvas bag over his head, which annoys him even more. This canvas hood is called a “spit hood” and is intended to prevent one of the officers from receiving saliva as the man spits and claims to have the coronavirus, according to one of the officers.

And then, when the temperature is close to zero, the police stop him. One officer pinches her face to the ground with both hands while another uses her knee to keep her from struggling. “They are trying to kill me,” he yells. More than two minutes elapsed. Snowflakes cover Daniel Prude’s naked body. Help arrives shortly after. Daniel Prude falls into a coma and dies a week later.

“How many more will have to die?” “

“It’s been four months since the prosecutor’s office opened its investigation, but it doesn’t take so long to find that the officers involved abused their authority and put an end to Mr. Prude’s existence,” he said. reacted the director of the local branch of the human rights organization New York Civil Liberties Union, Iman Abid.

“I made a call for my brother to get help, not for him to be lynched,” Daniel’s brother Joe Prude told a press conference Wednesday. For him, it is a “cold-blooded murder”. “How many brothers (black) will still have to die for society to understand that this has to end?” », He asked.

The city’s police chief, La’Ron Singletary, who is black, said there was never any question of “covering up” the incident. However, he admitted that the officers present during the arrest were not suspended until Thursday.

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