Seven American police officers are on suspension over the death of an unarmed black man, Daniel Prude.
Prude, 41, died of suffocation when the police officers taking him into custody, put a ‘spit hood’ (meant to protect officers from detainees’ saliva), over his head, and pinned him to the ground for two minutes.
Announcing the suspension, Rochester’s mayor, Lovely Warren, said systemic racism led to the death of Prude.
“Daniel Prude was failed by our police department, our mental healthcare system, our society and, he was failed by me,”she said.
She also acknowledged knowing of Prude’s death but said her police chief, La’Ron Singletary, told informed her that Prude had died of a drug overdose. ” At no time prior to Aug 4, did Chief Singletary or anyone else inform me or show me the video of the police suffocating Mr. Prude,” Warren added.
Prude died two months before George Floyd, another black man who was allegedly killed by police too. Floyd’s case carries so much similarity to that of Prude, as he was also pinned down to the ground, with a white police officer kneeling on his neck. Floyd’s killing sparked national and international protests against racism and police brutality.
The move to suspend the seven officers is the first disciplinary action taken by the government since Mr. Prude passed away. It comes right after his family, held a conference to make the news public.
The family said Prude was suffering mentally, when police restrained him.