The mayor of the United States city of Rochester has sacked the police chief and suspended two other officials over the death of a black man who was hooded and restrained during an arrest.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is not letting retiring Police Chief La'Ron Singletary stick around for the rest of the month. she just gave him the boot as the fallout from Daniel Prude's death in custody continues.
The report concludes that the response to Prude's death showed a "culture of insularity, acceptance and, quite frankly, callousness" within the Rochester Police Department. His last day was supposed to be September 29.
In addition to ousting Singletary, Warren suspended Rochester Corporation Counsel Tim Curtin and Communications Director Justin Roj for 30 days without pay for "failure to act, inform and follow policy and procedures", she said in a statement.
Last week, Prude's sister filed suit in federal court against Singletary, 13 other officers and the upstate NY city, alleging in part a department cover-up of the death.
"It shows that Mr. Prude's death was not taken as seriously as it should have been by those who reviewed the case throughout city government at every level, and that it was seemingly viewed by all concerned as an unfortunate set of circumstances, which we all know was not the case".
Chief Singletary has denied that his department tried to keep details of Mr Prude's death out of public view.
"This initial look has shown what so many have suspected, that we have a pervasive problem in the Rochester Police Department", Warren said in a news release Monday.
Warren is also directing the city's Office of Public Integrity to investigate whether any employees - herself included - violated city or departmental policies and ethical standards, and to bring charges as warranted. She said changes needed to happen immediately.
'We have to acknowledge these failures and put in place these forms that create transparency. She promised to "regroup" in a few days and answer questions then.
The case attracted renewed attention recently when Prude's family released body camera footage of the incident. Prude's brother, Joe, called 911 to get help, saying Daniel was having a mental health emergency.
Prude, who was unarmed and suffering from a psychotic episode at the time, lost consciousness while he was held down and died in a hospital a week later. He died a week later after he was taken off life support. The report also cites excited delirium and acute PCP intoxication as causes of death.
Seven Rochester police officers have been suspended with pay in connection with the case: Mark Vaughn, Troy Taladay, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris and Michael Magri.
They also demanded that Mayor Lovely Warren and Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley resign and papered the front of City Hall with "wanted" posters depicting Warren and Doorley.
'I accept the discipline issued by Mayor Warren today, ' he said.
Roj added that Singletary told him in an email of an ongoing criminal investigation and said the mayor was already informed.
'In hindsight, I agree I should have questioned the Chief further and/or taken the opportunity to discuss his email with the Mayor, ' he said.