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Police leaders pressed Rochester to keep Daniel Prude video secret

Rochester Police Death NY
Posted at 7:35 PM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-15 19:41:46-04

ROCHESTER, NY — Newly released emails show Rochester police commanders urged city officials to hold off on publicly releasing body camera footage of Daniel Prude’s suffocation death because they feared violent blowback if the video came out during nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd.

Deputy Chief Mark Simmons cited the “current climate” in the city and the nation in a June 4 email to then-Chief La’ron Singletary calling for city lawyers to deny a Prude family lawyer’s public records request for the footage of the March 23 encounter that led to his death.

The video, finally made public by Prude’s family on Sept. 4, shows an officer pushing a naked Prude’s head against the ground for two minutes until he stopped breathing.

He was taken off life support a week later.