Daniel Prude

Daniel Prude’s family called the police to help with his mental health crisis: ‘I didn’t call them to come help my brother die’

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Daniel Prude, 41, was visiting his brother Joe in Rochester in March when he experienced a mental health crisis.  When Daniel left the house unexpectedly, Joe called 911 to help find him. Officers found Daniel naked in the street and put a “spit hood” over his head until he fell unconscious. He died seven days later.

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Daniel Prude’s family called the police to help with his mental health crisis

When Joe Prude called 911 on March 23, he was hoping that officers could get help for his brother, who had been struggling with mental health issues. 

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Police showed up and found Daniel stripped naked in the below-freezing streets of Rochester, New York. During their encounter, Daniel had complied with their orders to lie on the ground and put his hands behind his back, according to police video released to his family.

Officers were told Daniel claimed he had the coronavirus, so they put a “spit hood” over his head, which agitated him, and held his face to the pavement for two minutes until he fell unconscious. He died seven days later. 

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I didn’t call them to come help my brother die,” Joe Prude told NPR’s Rachel Martin this week. “I called them to come help me get my brother some help.” 

Daniel Prude, of Chicago, died months before George Floyd‘s Memorial Day killing sparked international unrest and anti-racism protests.

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It wasn’t until two months after his death that Prude’s family learned that his death had been declared a homicide, Joe Prude told NPR.

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Monroe County Medical Examiner Dr. Nadia Granger ruled Prude’s death was caused by “complications of asphyxia” while physically restrained, according to the autopsy report viewed by the Democrat & Chronicle. 

The medical examiner’s report also noted that contributing factors included acute intoxication by phencyclidine, or PCP, the Associated Press reported.

Daniel Prude's family called the police to help with his mental health crisis: 'I didn't call them to come help my brother die' 3
A makeshift memorial is seen, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Rochester, N.Y., near the site where Daniel Prude was restrained by police officers.

On Thursday, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren suspended seven officers involved in the death of Daniel Prude. 

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