An unarmed black man died in New York state after being covered by police and held facing the street for two minutes.
He died in hospital a week later. His story has only now been published by his family, who held a press conference.
Mr. Prude’s death occurred two months before the assassination of George Floyd and sparked worldwide outrage.
Mr Floyd died in May after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for almost eight minutes.
Tensions have rebounded in recent weeks after the black Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back and paralyzed during an arrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 23, sparking major protests in the city that turned violent are.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has brought charges against the police who were involved in the shooting of Mr Blake and against those of Breonna Taylor, an African American woman who was killed in a drug robbery in her home in Louisville, Kentucky in March.
“I think we should let the judicial system work its own way,” he said at a press conference in Delaware. “At least I think they have to be charged, the officers.”
US Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday denied allegations that black and white Americans were treated differently because of police racism.
In an interview with CNN, he said it was very rare for an unarmed black person to be shot dead by white officers.
“I think the story that the police are in an epidemic in which unarmed black men are being shot is just a false story,” he said.
How did Daniel Prude die?
Mr. Prude’s brother, Joe, called the police in Rochester, New York, on March 23, because his sibling was suffering from acute mental health problems.
“I called my brother to get help and not to have my brother lynched,” he told the press conference on Wednesday.
Daniel Prude, a Chicago warehouse worker and father of five, was visiting his brother at the time of his death.
Police camera recordings, which the family received from public records upon request, show Mr. Prude, who had walked naked through the streets in light snow before the police arrived and was lying unarmed when officers held him to the ground.
The video shows that Mr. Prude immediately followed suit when officers arrived at the scene and ordered him to lie down on the floor and put his hands behind his back. You can hear him say, “Sure, sure.”
He gets excited, sometimes verbally abuses officers around him, and spits, but according to footage, he doesn’t seem to offer any physical resistance.
Mr Prude told officers he was infected with coronavirus and they put a “spit hood” over his head. “Spit hoods” are mesh hoods that are placed over the heads of suspects to protect officers from an inmate’s saliva.
Critics who oppose their use say they are distressing and humiliating, can panic the incarcerated person, and make it harder to notice when a prisoner is having difficulty breathing.
An officer presses Mr. Prude’s head with both hands and says, “Stop spitting.”
After he stopped squirming and became quiet, an officer notes, “It feels pretty cold.”
Medics try to resuscitate him before he is taken to an ambulance. A week later, on March 30th, he was released on life support.
The family lawyer said the reason the case was not made public earlier was because it took “months” for police materials to be released.
- “They’re pushing black people out and replacing us with BLM signs.”
- They filmed the brutality of the police – and then faced a backlash
In a statement, the New York State Attorney General described the death as a “tragedy” and said an investigation was ongoing. The officers involved were not suspended.
According to an autopsy report for the Rochester-based Democrat and Chronicle, Mr. Prude’s death was a murder caused by “complications of asphyxiation with restraint.”
The report also listed PCP, a potent hallucinogenic drug, as a complication.
According to the newspaper, Rochester Police used pepper spray and pepper balls against protesters outside the public security building on Wednesday.