daniel prude

PBS NewsHour


Local activists, elected officials and community leaders reacted Tuesday after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd.

Ashley Gantt, co-leader of Black Lives Matter advocacy group, Free The People Roc, said she was left speechless after hearing the verdict.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James hired one of the country's leading police defenders to offer expert testimony in the Daniel Prude case. In dozens of cases, Dr. Gary Vilke has essentially argued the same thing: police did nothing wrong. That's exactly what he told a grand jury in Rochester, emphasizing that RPD officers might even have been giving Daniel Prude a better chance at survival.

Now there are growing demands from the community for an explanation: why did AG James hire Dr. Vilke? What was her purpose for bringing on an expert whose testimony was easily predicted? Dr. Vilke has said that Minneapolis police did nothing wrong in their interaction with George Floyd. Our guests discuss it: 

  • Natalie Ann Knott, criminal defense attorney
  • Don Thompson, attorney representing Daniel Prude's brother 
  • Chris Vanderveen, director of reporting at 9News in Denver, Colorado (see his  investigative piece, "PRONE")

State's medical expert to grand jury: 'Police didn't kill Daniel Prude'

Apr 16, 2021
Max Schulte / WXXI News

A medical expert called by state prosecutors to testify before a grand jury in the investigation of Daniel Prude told jurors that he believed Prude died of a sudden cardiac arrest, and that none of the police officers who arrested him caused his heart to fail.

Max Schulte | WXXI News

It's been a year since Daniel Prude died after Rochester police officers restrained him during a mental health arrest. He had been rendered brain-dead during the March 23 arrest and was taken off life support a week later. 

What happened to Prude reignited an already active movement for racial justice, this time focusing on mental health and policing. 

Some police officers receive crisis intervention team, or CIT, training. It's a program that’s been in place since 2004. 

One year ago, Rochester Police encountered Daniel Prude in the early morning hours. One week later, Prude was dead. His story continues to change Rochester. We talk about the impact of his life, his death, and what is known as Daniel’s Law. Our guests:

  • Samra Brouk, New York State Senator, who introduced Daniel’s Law
  • Harry Bronson, New York State Assemblymember, who introduced Daniel’s Law
  • Serena Viktor, member of the Black Healers Network of Rochester

Max Schulte / WXXI

Black Lives Matter activists marched through the streets of Rochester Tuesday as they marked the one-year anniversary of Daniel Prude's ultimately fatal encounter with city police.

Max Schulte / WXXI News file photo


This week marks one year since Daniel Prude's encounter with Rochester Police that resulted in his suffocation, and ultimately, his death. Prude was in Rochester visiting his older brother, Joe, who didn’t learn the details of Daniel’s death until months later.

Police bodycam footage showing Daniel Prude the night he was restrained was released to the public in September, six months after his death.

A member of Rochester City Council, Mary Lupien, joins us. She discusses why she had information about Daniel Prude's death before the public found out in September. We also discuss how Lupien and mental health professionals see the Prude case and the need for changes in who responds to emergency calls.

Our guests:

  • Mary Lupien, member of Rochester City Council
  • Melanie Funchess, mental health advocate, and member of the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group and the Black Healers Network
  • Chacku Mathai, mental health and substance use ex-patient, recovery advocate, member of the New York State Behavioral Health Services Advisory Council, and vice president for the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Daniel Prude probe: Mayor, city officials suppressed info about his death

Mar 12, 2021
Max Schulte/WXXI News

An independent investigation into the city’s handling of Daniel Prude’s death found that officials at the highest levels of city government and the Rochester Police Department suppressed information about his fatal arrest and blamed Mayor Lovely Warren for keeping the incident out of the public eye for so long.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Rochester City Council is set to vote on a resolution recommending that the city administration and Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan consider firing the officers responsible for the death of Daniel Prude almost one year ago.

The proposed resolution was introduced Thursday afternoon and approved by a City Council committee later in the day on an 8 to 1 vote. It will be considered during Council’s regular meeting on Tuesday.