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A grand jury finds all seven police officers involved in the Daniel Prude case not guilty

On Tuesday afternoon, New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced that the seven police officers involved in the Daniel Prude case will not face any charges.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James stated that she felt there was sufficient evidence presented to the grand jury, but their decision was not to indict. James stated “Daniel Prude was in the throes of a mental health crisis and what he needed was compassion, care, and help from trained professionals.”

James also stated that there are “serious concerns” remaining about the Rochester Police Department. She then proceeded to state “I will pursue a multifaceted approach to addressing the very issues that have prevented us from holding officers accountable when they improperly use deadly force.”

New York State Attorney General Letitia James provided an outline of her recommendations:

  1. Law enforcement officers, emergency communications providers (dispatchers), and emergency medical service personnel must be trained to recognize the symptoms of excited delirium syndrome and to respond to it as a serious medical emergency.

  2. All communities should assess models for responding to crisis situations that minimize or eliminate police responses to mental health calls whenever possible; passing “Daniel’s Law” would greatly aid in this endeavor.

  3. New York should mandate de-escalation training for all police officers, and police agencies should reflect a commitment to de-escalation in their use of force policies.

  4. The City of Rochester should adopt a body-worn camera release policy regarding critical incidents.

  5. Law enforcement agencies should explore the use of spit sock alternatives.

After the announcement, Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan released a statement in regard to New York State Attorney General James press conference. Chief Herriott-Sullivan stated “as a public servant, I have a deep and unwavering regard for our judicial system and due process for all persons. The N.Y.S. Attorney General’s Office has completed their investigation and the Grand Jury has made their decision in this case, and we must respect it.” Chief Herriott-Sullivan then went on to say “my heart goes out to the Prude family during this difficult time. I want the family and the community to know that I accepted the role of Interim Police Chief to make a real, systemic change, and that is still my goal.”

Chief Herriott-Sullivan also stated that she wants the public to know, that there is still an ongoing investigation being handled by the Rochester Police Departments Professional Standard’s Section. The officers involved in the case will remain on leave pending the outcome of this internal investigation.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren also released a statement this evening. Mayor Warren states “The announcement by the Attorney General is hard for many of us to understand. Today’s findings will not undo the damage done nor bring Mr. Prude back to his loved ones. And, we extend our fullest prayers and condolences to his children and his family.” Mayor Warren then went on to say “As a City and a community we must work towards changing policies and procedures to correct the inequities in the system. I am committed to focusing my energy and anger on creating the change our community so desperately seeks, and I ask that you join with me.”


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