ALBANY, N.Y. (CBS Chicago/CBS News) — New York state Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday that no officers will be charged following an investigation into the death of Daniel Prude, a 41-year-old Black man from Chicago who died after being restrained by Rochester police last year.
James said Tuesday that her office presented the “strongest case possible” to a grand jury, but the grand jury decided not to indict any officers in the case. James’ office is required to investigate police-involved deaths of unarmed civilians under state law.READ MORE: Investigators Raid Three Locations Of Parlor Pizza Restaurant
The body cam video shows Rochester officers detaining a naked Prude in the early hours of March 23. Prude was ordered to lie on the ground.
Police put his hands behind his back and handcuffed him.
The video shows Prude yelling and spitting as he lies completely naked on the snow-covered ground. A white spit hood is placed on his head. Later, an officer appears to be pushing his head into the pavement.READ MORE: 'John Doe' Who Accused Former Blackhawks Video Coach Brad Aldrich Of Sexual Abuse Identifies Himself As Kyle Beach
Prude goes on to become unresponsive. He was taken to the hospital, where he died days later. His death was ruled a homicide, caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.”
The video drew protests in Rochester and across the country, along with questions over the handling of the probe by city officials. Seven Rochester police officers were suspended, and the city’s police chief first announced his retirement and was then fired in September. Union officials have insisted police followed their training.
Attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci released the following statement in response to the grand jury’s decision not to indict any officers in Prude’s death.
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“We are deeply disappointed that the officers will not face criminal charges for killing Daniel Prude during what was clearly a mental health crisis as he lay naked in the cold streets with a spit hood they placed over his head. This tragedy could have been avoided if officers had been properly trained but also used basic human decency and common sense to treat Mr. Prude with compassion and get him the medical attention he deserved. We will continue to advocate for justice in the civil courts, while also seeking federal police reform so that these continued tragedies against Black citizens end once and for all.”
CBS News’ Erin Donoghue contributed to this report.