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Prude's brother says AG 'could have done more' 

Daniel Prude's brother, Joe Prude, outside City Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, to announce plans to sue the city over Prude's death.

PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE

Daniel Prude's brother, Joe Prude, outside City Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, to announce plans to sue the city over Prude's death.

Joe Prude said he’s in shock over a grand jury’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against the Rochester Police officers involved in his brother Daniel’s death.

He called 911 nearly a year ago with concerns about Daniel's mental health. Officers found Daniel naked in 30-degree weather on Jefferson Avenue. He was restrained in the middle of the street and suffocated. He died a week later.

New York Attorney General Letitia James spoke to Prude on Tuesday prior to announcing that the officers who arrested his brother would not be charged, but Prude said he was hesitant to talk to her.

“You know, I was stunned, in disbelief,” Prude said. “Like how, can you (James) sit there and tell me that you presented all the evidence that you possibly could and this is the turn out? No one, neither one of them is being charged for that.

“Do I trust the system? No. Do I think she could have done more? Yep. And it's like, where do we go from here? Do another innocent Black man got to lose their life at the hands of the law enforcement of the Rochester Police Department before they figure out that they really need to do something? I’m dumbfounded right now, the whole world watched it, how else did he stop breathing?”

James’ statement echoed the medical examiner's report, which called Daniel Prude’s death a homicide. It also mentioned that he had PCP in his system and that he experienced “excited delirium.” Prude does not think the diagnosis played a role in Daniel’s death.

“Just like I told her, the whole world watched them kill him, and the first term they come up with, to come up to cover the police, (expletive) is excited delirium," Prude said. “That’s not even a medical term, you can ask a real doctor whether it exists. I’m not a damn doctor and I know better than that.

“This is mind-boggling, man. Because ain’t nothing gonna reduce this pain, ain’t nothing going to reduce this hurt.”

A civil suit is being pursued by Daniel’s children, but Joe Prude wouldn’t speak on it. He said he intends to fight for his brother’s justice. When asked what justice is at this point, Joe Prude said he wanted the officers to pay a price for Daniel’s death.

“Fired, held accountable, stop pacifying those clowns with badges,” said Prude. “That’s all they're doing, that’s all the Locust (Club) union is, a mob within a mob, a gang within a gang.“

The Locust Club, the RPD’s union, said this week that it would not comment on the grand jury's decision until it reviewed the attorney general's report.

A state judge has ruled that the grand jury’s records will be unsealed. It was not immediately cleared when they would become public.

James Brown is a reporter for WXXI News, a media party of CITY.
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