Daniel Prude’s children file lawsuit against city

A grand jury recently decided not to press charges against the seven officers involved in the death of Prude

Daniel Prude’s five children have sued the city of Rochester over allegations that it ignored years of police misconduct.

Prude died last March after being physically restrained by police officers while naked, handcuffed, and with a spit hood over his head as he suffered a mental health episode. His children filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Monday alleging their family made a “fatal mistake” by calling the police for help, USA Today reported.

Read More: Prude’s family says videos show crime; Officers say no

Daniel Prude thegrio.com
In this Sept. 3, 2020, file photo, Joe Prude, brother of Daniel Prude, right, and his son Armin, stand with a picture of Daniel Prude in Rochester, N.Y. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffre, File)

The lawsuit alleged that the seven police officers who arrived at the scene were not equipped to offer assistance to Prude.

The lawsuit stated that the city “knew to a moral certainty that without training and policies in place to guide officers on how to interact with people experiencing mental health crises, police officers are likely to make choices and take actions during these encounters that will cause the deprivation of a citizen’s constitutional rights, including either by using excessive force against them or denying them needed care, or both.”

The family is now seeking damages for their “emotional pain and suffering,” and accuses the officers of contributing to Prude’s death. The official cause of death was listed as “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint,” and excited delirium according to the autopsy conducted by The Monroe County medical examiner.

“Instead of providing him with care and assistance, officers of the Rochester Police Department cruelly abused him, mocked him, and killed him,” the suit said.

Matthew Piers is one of the lawyers representing Prude’s family and announced in a virtual press conference that this lawsuit was needed to set an example.

“We hope through this litigation to play a positive role not only in providing compensation for the children, but also changing the way the City of Rochester responds, both the policemen’s conduct and also to people with mental health needs,” Piers said.

Daniel Prude thegrio.com
(Credit: Prude)

This is the second lawsuit that has been filed over Prude’s death. A previous one was filed by his brother Joe Prude and his sister. Piers explained why there were separate suits rather than one with all of the family.

He maintained Joe would still be involved but it was a matter of a technicality.

“He will certainly be involved in that regard,” Piers said. “Under the law, the proper recipients of any recovery by his estate are his children and only his children.”

This latest development comes weeks after a grand jury chose not to indict the officers involved in the 41-year-old’s death. As theGrio reported, Joe was frustrated by the announcement New York Attorney General Letitia James made on Feb. 23.

Prude had wanted to hear “Murder, manslaughter, something,” from James.

“How are you the attorney general and there’s still no charges brought up?” Joe said at a press conference.

Read More: No charges against officers involved in Daniel Prude’s death

Piers noted that a civil lawsuit had a “preponderance of evidence,” threshold as opposed to the ‘guilty beyond a reasonable doubt’ required in a criminal conviction.

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