The outgoing Chief La’Ron Singletary had announced last week that he intended to retire at the end of September. But a review of the case has now led to his deportation.
“This first glance has shown what so many suspect we have a widespread problem in the Rochester Police Department,” Warren said in a news release Monday. “One who sees everything through the eyes of the badge and not the citizens we serve. It shows that Mr. Prude’s death was not taken as seriously as it should have been by those who reviewed the case throughout the city council at all levels.”
Business consultant Tim Curtin and communications director Justin Roj were each suspended for 30 days without pay.
The decisions followed a “brief management review of the city̵
Although Prude died in March, lawyers for his family released the police body video showing officers covering his head with a “saliva sock” and holding him on the ground in an inclined position before stopping breathing. Prude stopped breathing and was pronounced brain dead at a hospital where he died on March 30.
Monroe County medical examination ruled out that Prude’s death was a homicide, citing complications of suffocation associated with physical restraint. The report also cites agitated delirium and acute PCP poisoning as causes of death.
Last week, Prude’s sister filed a lawsuit in federal court against Singletary, 13 other officers and upstate New York City, in part claiming a cover-up of the death.
Prude suffered an “acute manic, psychotic episode” at the time of the arrest, according to the trial.
Neither the boss nor the city responded to requests for comment on the lawsuit.
The lengthy announcement that a black man had been killed by police has led to protests and accusations that local leaders were hiding the killing from the public.
In a statement last week announcing his retirement, Singletary said the public was misinformed about what he was doing.
“The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and know what I stand for,” Singletary said. “The mischaracterization and politicization of the actions I took after being informed of Mr Prude’s death is not based on facts and is not what I stand for.”
The chief was not the only chief officer to say he left the department. When Singletary announced its retirement, officials also said Deputy Chief Joseph Morabito and Commander Fabian Rivera retired.
Two other commanding officers – Deputy Commander Mark Simmons and Commander Henry Favor – return to their previously held lower rank of lieutenant. According to city officials, Simmons and Favor are returning to their former positions of their own free will.
The police union, Rochester Police Locust Club, said it did not comment at this time.
Rochester City attorney Stephanie Prince declined to comment when CNN reached out.
CNN also reached out to Rochester City Council and the Rochester Police Department for comment.
New York Attorney General Letitia James has said she will investigate Prude’s death and take the case to a grand jury.
CNN’s Ray Sanchez, Sheena Jones and Evan Simko-Bednarski contributed to this report.