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In March, Daniel Prude showed signs of a mental crisis. His brother called an ambulance in hopes that Mr. Prude would be hospitalized, but he was sent home after three hours with no diagnosis.
Later, when Mr. Prude ran out of the house barely dressed that night in Rochester, his brother Joe Prude again asked the authorities for help, this time to the police.
After a fight with officers, Daniel Prude suffered from heart problems. It would be days before Joe Prude could visit him in the hospital – allowed only so he could decide whether to take his brother off life support – and months before the family would find out what had happened when he was arrested.
Today we hear from Joe Prude about that night and we are investigating the actions police took during his brother’s arrest, including the official narrative released after his death.
In the minutes after Mr. Prude’s heart stopped briefly during a fight with officers, an unofficial police tale grabbed hold of him: he had suffered a drug overdose. The release of body camera footage made this version of events difficult.
The Monroe County Medical Examiner ruled that Mr. Prude’s death was a murder caused by “complications of asphyxiation with physical restraint.” Seven Rochester police officers have now been suspended.
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Sarah Maslin Nir contributed to the coverage.
The Daily is made by Theo Balcomb, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood and Jessica Cheung. Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Kelly Prime, Julia Longoria, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, MJ Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette Hans Buetow, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Giaever, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi and Rachelle Bonja. Our theme music comes from Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk from Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Mikayla Bouchard, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Nora Keller, Sofia Milan and Desiree Ibekwe.