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MLK Park amphitheater named 'Daniel Prude Square'

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WXXI News
Daniel Prude was 41 when he died March 30, 2020, a week after Rochester police restrained him during a mental health call.

Part of a downtown Rochester park has been renamed “Daniel Prude Square” in remembrance of of the man who died after being restrained by police in March 2020.

The renaming coincides with what would have been Prude’s 44th birthday on Tuesday. The amphitheater of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park already has a large mural honoring Prude. A permanent sign now is affixed to the site.

City officials withheld details about how Prude died until months after his death, prompting nights of protests – many of which originated at the amphitheater. Attorney General Letitia James cleared the officers of criminal wrongdoing. A wrongful death lawsuit brought by Prude’s children remains pending.

Mayor Malik Evans said in a statement released Monday that Prude’s death “reverberated across and beyond our region, and we will memorialize him and ensure his name is remembered.”

Council President Miguel Melendez said the naming of the amphitheater after Daniel Prude will be a reminder of “community mobilization in the wake of tragedy and our city’s commitment to crisis response.”

City Councilmember Stanley Martin, a local activist, released a statement saying that Prude’s death “has challenged this community to rethink how we provide support to those experiencing mental health crises,” and also sparked policy changes and greater accountability.

The statement from Martin also included a comment from Joe Prude, Daniel’s brother, who said that he is “humbled’ that his brother’s name “will live on in a space that has been defined by community-organizing, activism and agitation.”

Brian Sharp is WXXI's business and development reporter. He has been covering Rochester since 2005, working most of that time as an investigative reporter with the Democrat and Chronicle. His journalism career spans nearly three decades.
Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.