Former police chief says mayor told him to lie about Daniel Prude investigation

La'Ron Singletary said Lovely Warren asked him to 'provide false information' and 'omit material information.'

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A former Rochester chief of police filed a claim this week stating that the city’s mayor asked him to “withhold full and truthful information from the City Council investigation” into the death of Daniel Prude.

Prude died one week after being restrained by Rochester Police in late March.

Former Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary (left) says Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren (right) asked him to “withhold full and truthful information from the City Council investigation” into the March 23 death of Daniel Prude. (Photos by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

The incident became public in September, prompting protests and staff changes within the department.

But former Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary said Mayor Lovely Warren asked him to “provide false information and to omit material information to support the Mayor’s public narrative concerning her knowledge of the events in the matter of Daniel Prude.”

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“I repeatedly refused to lie for Mayor Warren,” he said.

The “notice of claim” filed this week came after Singletary was effectively fired on Sept. 14 when Warren announced, “Today is Chief Singletary’s last day,” during a press conference.

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Singletary, alongside others, had declared his plans to leave the RPD on Sept. 8, with a retirement date of Sept. 29.

However, he claims his decision to retire was based on attacks on his reputation and a “hostile work environment” created by the mayor and other city officials after Prude’s death.

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An investigation into the claims by the city’s Office of Public Integrity found “no evidence that any employee violated any policies or ethical standards.”

“The City administration continues to fully comply with the ongoing review by City Council into the death of Daniel Prude, as it did with the OPI investigation that found no wrongdoing,” city spokeswoman Bridgette Burch White said in a statement.

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“As for the Notice of Claim,” the statement continued, “it confirms the fact that Mayor Warren was never shown the body-worn camera footage of the incident by former chief Singletary. It also confirms that Mayor Warren first saw the video on August 4th when it was provided by Corporation Counsel, a fact that Mr. Singletary refused to acknowledge until now. The City will fully defend taxpayers against this frivolous suit.”

Singletary is suing Rochester for unnamed financial damages.

Prude’s family is also suing the city.

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