On September 2nd, officials released the bodycam footage of the police attack on 41-year-old Black man Daniel Prude.
As the video shows, Rochester officers covered Daniel’s head with a hood and held him down to the pavement until he went unconscious. He was naked, unarmed, handcuffed, and suffering from mental health issues.
Daniel was declared brain dead when he arrived at the hospital 15 minutes later and was put on life support. He died in the hospital seven days later. His death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.
Daniel’s 18-year-old daughter Tayshra said in a press conference,
“A racist police officer saw a Black man in need and decided that he just didn’t deserve to live. I don’t understand how anybody could say or feel like he was a threat to the police when he complied with all orders. There’s nothing that anyone could say that could convince me that he was a threat to the police officers.”
The officers involved in Daniel’s murder claim they put the so-called “spit hood” over his head because they were concerned about getting COVID. The officers were not, however, concerned enough about getting COVID to bother to wear masks.
Daniel Prude’s attack happened on March 23, 2020, and he passed away on March 30, 2020. And yet, we are only talking about his murder five months later.
Of course, we all know the reason why: the public only reacts to police brutality if we have video proof. It’s the same reason why it took the public so many months to protest Breonna Taylor’s murder, despite her death being public knowledge since the night it happened.
Those who oppose the Black Lives Matter protests and claim that there are “only a few bad apples” in the police force do so based on the limited video footage we have of police brutality. Because despite all the videos we see of Daniel Prude, George Floyd, and so many more, their deaths are just a small percentage of those that happen every year.
Police have killed 765 people in 2020 alone. And it’s only September.
Black people are three times more likely to be killed than white people and 1.4 times more likely to be unarmed compared to white people. The deaths and attacks that are caught on camera are merely a small sampling of the police brutality that happens every day.
The New York Attorney General’s office is currently handling the investigation into Daniel’s death. However, between the video footage and the medical examiner’s report, it’s unclear what more there is to investigate.
It was only on September 3rd —five months after Daniel’s murder — that the seven officers involved in Daniel Prude’s death were suspended. And that only happened after the bodycam footage was released and the public reacted with outrage.
Daniel’s family has shared loving memories of what they describe as a caring, family man. His aunt Letoria Moore said,
“He was just a bright, loving person, just family-oriented, always there for us when we needed him.”
Daniel’s brother Joe added,
“He was really one of those guys who was upbeat, charismatic. My brother cared about everybody, no matter the circumstances, the race, nothing. He gave the shirt off of his damn back.”
As for his daughter, Tayshra, she said,
“I knew him as a caring, energetic, and happy-go-lucky man who enjoyed making everybody smile and who loved his kids.”
His family is calling on New York Attorney General Letitia James to bring justice for Daniel.