Daniel Prude death: Bodycam footage shows police laughing before death of unarmed black man in custody

Disturbing video shows 41-year-old struggling as police mocked him

Gino Spocchia
Thursday 03 September 2020 11:32 BST
Police bodycam shows death of Daniel Prude
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Damning bodycam video from the death of an unarmed black man in March, Daniel Prude, shows New York police laughing before his death in custody.

Officers in Rochester, New York, appeared to mock the unarmed 41-year-old as he rolled on the pavement whilst naked and handcuffed.

Prude, who was suffering from mental health problems at the time, can also be seen being restrained with a “spit hood” on his head, as he struggled with officers.

He died one week later with asphyxiation, in what medical examiners described as a homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.”

The fatal police encounter, which took place on 23 March, went unreported until Prude’s family released video and records in a news conference on Wednesday.

It included 12 minutes of body camera footage of Prude’s arrest by officers who laughed before placing a “spit hood” on his head.

Spit hoods, a mesh bag used to stop a restrained person from spitting on officers, have been criticised following the deaths of some prisoners who are forced to wear them.

Prude, who demanded that the mesh bag was removed, shouts at the officers to “get away from me”.

Continuing to yell, Prude then tells the officers to “come look at this big d***k”, as the officers laugh.

His shouting eventually turns to muffled noises, as the officers hold him down on the pavement, telling him to “stop spitting”.

When Prude lays motionless, and water is seen coming from his mouth, the officers then appear concerned, with one saying “My man. You puking?”

The officers then remove the hood and his handcuffs before medics are seen performing CPR on Prude, who was loaded into an ambulance.

He died one week later, after seven days spent on life support, in an encounter disturbingly familiar to that of George Floyd, who died after Minneapolis police officers pinned him to the floor until he could not breathe, in May.

An advocacy group, Free The People Roc, have now called for the officers involved in Prude’s arrest to face charges.

An investigation is currently ongoing, said the New York state attorney’s office on Wednesday.

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