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I CAN’T BREATHE: Protests Erupt In New York Over Video Of Police Murder Of Daniel Prude

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A new shocking disturbing video of Rochester police suffocating a Black man, Daniel Prude, 41 has gone viral across the internet. The horrific video shows police put a bag over the naked man’s head and push down on his neck with the bag firmly covering his face.

After the incident Prude was left brain dead and later died on March 30th when he was taken off of life support approximately seven days prior to the encounter with police. Prude’s brother called police for help on March 23rd at around 3 a.m. after the man had left his house in Rochester in the snow, wearing nothing but his long underwear, a tank top, and socks. As he made his way throughout the neighborhood, he started undressing.

Rochester police say Prude was behaving erratically, stripping as he walked through the streets and – according to the video of the traumatizing video, “smashing windows.”

An officer identified as Mark Vaughn from the Rochester PD, pointed a taser at Prude in the video, ordering him to lay on the ground, and put his hands behind his back.

The footage shows Prude laying on the ground with his hands behind his back complying to orders. Prude then yells out to the four officers that responded to the situation that “he had covid19,” while spitting. They then put a “spit hood” over his head and laughed while he yelled several profanities at them while begging them to take off the hood. Prude demands they remove the spit hood, stating in irony “trying to kill me!,” before making muffled cries while the officers just keep holding him down.

After the hood was placed over Prude’s head, he became more visibly upset. He flipped onto his side yelling at the officers to  “give me that gun!”

When Prude attempted to get onto his feet while handcuffed three officers can be seen jumping on top of him to hold him on the ground, with at least one on his neck, while the hood was still on the man. After roughly three minutes of holding him down, law enforcement officials noticed fluid coming out of his mouth and that he was unconscious, the officers then start laughing and making jokes.

Prude was taken to the hospital but failed to wake up and was taken off life support three days later.

A medical examiner from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Prude’s death a homicide, with “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint,” as well as PCP intoxication.

Protests have erupted in upstate New York over the incident giving new fuel to the fire of the words, “I can’t breathe.” Protesters gathered outside Rochester’s Public Safety Building, which serves as its police headquarters, demanding that the officers involved be charged with murder for what Prude’s brother called a lynching, Dailymail reported.

“I placed a phone call for my brother to get help. Not for my brother to get lynched,” Joe Prude said at a news conference announcing the bodycam footage. “How did you see him and not directly say, ‘The man is defenseless, buck naked on the ground. He’s cuffed up already.’ How many more brothers gotta die for society to understand that this needs to stop?”

In April, the investigation into Prude’s death was taken over by Attorney General Letitia James’ office, who will ultimately decide whether or not to prosecute the officers involved in the brutal murder. The investigation is still ongoing.

Prude was a father and leaves behind five adult children. He had been working at a warehouse within the last year, according to his aunt Letoria Moore.

“He was just a bright, loving person, just family-oriented, always there for us when we needed him,” Moore said. Adding, he, “never hurt or harmed anybody.”

Video of the incident was uploaded to Youtube by The Sun. You can watch the shocking situation unfold below, but a forewarning the video is triggering and very graphic.

 

Alex Baldridge is an activist and freelance journalist from the midwestern United States who was inspired to become a writer after watching the development of the Wikileaks story and the persecution of Julian Assange. Alex is especially interested in topics like surveillance, the rise of automation, foreign policy, prison reform, and the legal system.

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