Video of in-custody death sparks protests in NY

Officers responded to a call of a man who was having a “mental episode” when the incident occurred

By Suzie Ziegler 

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The death of a man in a western New York city has sparked protests after video of his March 23 arrest was released Wednesday. 

Daniel Prude, 41, was visiting his brother in Rochester when police found him running naked in the streets during a snowstorm. According to, Prude’s brother had called police because Prude was having a “mental episode.” Medical examiners later determined that Prude was in a PCP-induced state of excited delirium and acute intoxication. 

Bodycam video shows Rochester police officers ordering the naked man to the ground and putting him in handcuffs. Officers then put a spit hood over Prude’s head and one of them presses his face into the pavement for two minutes. Prude was taken to a hospital where he remained until he was taken off life support seven days later, according

The medical examiner’s report classified Prude’s death as a homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint,” reported. Excited delirium and PCP intoxication were listed as contributing factors.

Since news of the fatal encounter broke, protesters took to the streets, calling the death of Prude, who is Black, police brutality and another example of racial injustice. According to WHAM, nine people were arrested related to demonstrations in downtown Rochester on Wednesday. 

The case wasn’t publicly known until Wednesday when Prude’s family held a press conference. The family alleges that the case was covered up, WHAM reports. They’re now calling for all the officers involved in the incident to be fired and for the three cops who held Prude down to be charged. 

The investigation is ongoing.


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