Rochester’s police chief and the “entire command staff” resigned following the death of Daniel Prude and the outrage that has ensued.
Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, a veteran of the force for 20 years announced his resignation in a press release on Tuesday. It will be effective on Sept. 29. He criticized those who have sought to “destroy my character and integrity,” ABC News reported.
“The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and know what I stand for,” Singletary’s resignation letter said. “The mischaracterization and the politicization of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr. Prude’s death is not based on facts, and is not what I stand for.”
Mayor Lovely Warren announced that the entire command staff was also resigning. She informed the Rochester City Council that no one had been forced into their decision.
As theGrio reported, Rochester has experienced unrest similar to what has happened over the summer in other cities after footage was released of Prude’s death in March. Prude’s brother, Joe, called police for help for a mental health check.
He died after Rochester police placed a hood over his head and restrained him in the street. His manner of death was attributed to “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.” Other contributing factors included excited delirium and acute intoxication by phencyclidine, or PCP.
“That was a full-fledged, ongoing, murder- cold-blooded,” Joe Prude said.
Attorney General Letitia James has called for an investigation amid an outcry that police don’t know how to offer proper care to those who are mentally ill. Seven police officers were suspended by Warren last week in connection to Prude’s death but many also faulted the leadership of Singletary. There were demands for him to be fired.
Deputy Police Chief Joseph Morabito also released a statement about his from the Rochester Police Department on Tuesday.
“I have often reflected on my time growing up in this City, and the many friends and neighbors who helped guide me and encouraged my decision to become an officer,” his statement read.
“I have never regretted that decision, and the people who I have had the privilege of assisting throughout my service, and will always consider my membership with the Rochester Police Department as one of the proudest achievements of my lifetime.”
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