Rochester, N.Y. Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, Commanding Officers Resign Following Accusations Of A Cover-Up

Rochester, N.Y. Police Chief La’Ron Singletary has resigned after a week of sus­tained protests over the March extra­ju­di­cial killing of Daniel Prude.

Singletary, who is Black, had received calls for his res­ig­na­tion after Prude’s fam­i­ly released body cam­era footage of his death last week. Prude was detained by police on March 22 after his broth­er called for a well­ness check for his sib­ling, who had men­tal health issues. Responding to the call, Rochester police placed a spit hood over the dis­tressed and unarmed man, pin­ning him to the ground in a chain of events that caused Prude to lose con­scious­ness. He died in a hos­pi­tal a week after the encounter.

But Singletary doesn’t appear to be bow­ing to the will of pro­test­ers, who have accused the police depart­ment and city gov­ern­ment of cov­er­ing up Prude’s death (there have also been calls for Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren to step down). According to a res­ig­na­tion let­ter obtained by WHAM-TV, Singletary’s quit­ting the job appears to be a protest in and of its own:
As a man of integri­ty, I will not sit idly by while out­side enti­ties attempt to destroy my char­ac­ter. The events over the past week are an attempt to destroy my char­ac­ter and integri­ty. The mem­bers of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my rep­u­ta­tion and know what I stand for. The mis­char­ac­ter­i­za­tion and the politi­ciza­tion of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr. Prude’s death is not based on facts, and is not what I stand for.

According to reporters who were watch­ing the press con­fer­ence, includ­ing BuzzFeed’s Paul McLeod, Rochester’s entire com­mand staff has also stepped down.
The res­ig­na­tions also come just three days after New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced a grand jury would review Prude’s case, reports the New York Times. There has also been dis­agree­ment about how much was com­mu­ni­cat­ed between Singletary and Mayor Warren in the imme­di­ate after­math of Prude’s killing.

According to WHAM, Warren said she didn’t know the full details of Prude’s death, and that she had been told he died of a drug over­dose. During a news con­fer­ence last week, Warren said it wasn’t until August 4 that she saw footage of police arrest­ing Prude. Singletary said he called Warren on March 23 to alert her of the inci­dent, and that a crim­i­nal and inter­nal inves­ti­ga­tion was under­way.

Since Prude’s death has come to light, Warren has ordered that video of any in-cus­tody death be released with­in 24 hours. On Tuesday, Mayor Warren said the search has begun to find an inter­im police chief. It is unclear who will be in charge dur­ing tonight’s sched­uled protests.[from the root]

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