ROCHESTER — Family of Daniel Prude, the man who died a week after he was detained by Rochester police officers, are suing Chief La’Ron Singletary, Dep. Chief Mark Simmons and several other Rochester police officers.
Both men announced their retirements Tuesday.
The suit also names Henry Favor, Michael Perkowski, Mark Vaughn, Troy Taladay, Francisco Santiago, Michael Magri, Andrew Specksgoor, Paul Ricotta, Josiah Harris, Flamur Zenelovic, Michael Houlihan and Randy Benjamin as defendants.
Daniel Prude was not breathing and had no pulse after he was restrained and handcuffed by officers. He died seven days later in the hospital after being taken off life support.
The Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide and said Prude died from complications of asphyxia due to physical restraint, excited delirium and PCP.
The suit argues that the officers who arrested Prude used physical, deadly force and argues that Prude was not a threat.
It cites RPD’s written policies, which state, “Members of the Rochester Police Department (RPD) may use deadly physical force, as defined by Article 10 of the New York State Penal Law, only when the use of deadly physical force is necessary to defend the member or another person from what the member reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force.”
The suit alleges the department violated its own policies, and that the Major Crimes Unit’s conclusion that, “the officers’ actions and conduct displayed when dealing with Prude appear to be appropriate and consistent with their training,” was part of a “cover-up.”
The family is suing for compensatory and punitive damages and asking for a federal monitor to be appointed to investigate incidents where RPD officers use force and discipline them if deemed necessary.