NY AG Letitia James announces new policy on body camera footage in Rochester

National

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — New York State Attorney General Letitia James was in Rochester Sunday.

The attorney general’s office has been investigating the death of Daniel Prude since April. Sunday’s appearance in Rochester was the attorney general’s first visit to the city since news of Prude’s death became public earlier this month.

James held a press conference at Aenon Missionary Baptist Church, after meeting with members of the Prude family earlier and is scheduled to meet with local civil rights groups Free the People ROC, and United Christian Leadership Ministry.

James announced a new policy that the attorney general’s office will independently release body camera footage after the family of a victim has seen it, and no longer way for local authorities to release the footage.

The attorney general also announced that her office would have a link available to her website were protesters could submit videos, photos, and testimony of police conduct during protests.

Prude, a 41-year-old Black man from Chicago, died after an encounter with Rochester police back in March, but news of the incident just came to light on September 2.

The autopsy report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death of Prude a homicide. The report says Prude’s cause of death includes “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.” The report also showed that Prude also had a small amount of PCP in his system at the time of his death, which could explain his erratic behavior.

A federal civil lawsuit filed from the Prude family against the City of Rochester alleges there was an internal cover-up. Aside from Singletary, several other high-ranking members within the RPD’s command staff have also announced retirements.

Seven Rochester police officers have been suspended with pay in connection to the incident: Officers Mark Vaughn, Troy Taladay, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris, and Sgt. Michael Magri.

Protests have been ongoing in Rochester since the news broke September 2.

(Information from RochesterFirst.com)

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