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article imageRochester mayor fires police chief, calls for DOJ investigation

By Karen Graham     Sep 14, 2020 in Politics
Rochester - Rochester, N.Y., Mayor Lovely Warren (D) said Monday she is firing the city's chief of police and suspending its city attorney in the aftermath of the death of Daniel Prude in police custody in March.
In a hastily called press conference at City Hall on Monday morning, Mayor Lovely Warren announced the release of the 323-page comprehensive review of the Daniel Prude death in March, and the ensuing investigations that have been underway since.
Mayor Warren almost immediately thereafter announced that Police Chief La'Ron Singletary had been relieved of his command in the same fashion that she announced his upcoming retirement last week, leaving him to learn the news via social media.
Heads continued to roll as Warren also announced the suspensions - without pay - of Corporation Counsel Tim Curtin and Communications Director Justin Roj.
The mayor took no questions, but as she did on the September 8th press conference, she began by apologizing for her own inaction, before turning around and doling out blame to other administration officials, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.
"This initial look has shown what so many have suspected, that we have a pervasive problem in the Rochester Police Department,” Warren said, according to The Associated Press. “One that views 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 city government at every level.”
“I accept the discipline issued by Mayor Warren today," Roj said in a statement posted to Twitter, reports The Hill. "At no time, before August 4, was I aware of what had happened to Mr. Prude, and when i saw the video I immediately expressed by opinion within City Hall that the officers involved should no longer be on our streets.”
"I personally believe that Mr. Prude would be alive today if the responding officers recognized his humanity, and acted with compassion and restraint."
Warren also called for a federal review of the Prude case. She said she requested the U.S. Attorney’s Office conduct an investigation into the “possible violations of Mr. Prude’s civil rights."
The mayor also said the city's Office of Public Integrity would "determine if any employees — including herself — violated city or departmental policies or ethical standards."
This investigation, along with Attorney General Letitia James' criminal investigation, RPD's own internal investigation, City Council's upcoming investigation and the ongoing document discovery associated with the Prude family's lawsuit against the city, will fill Rochester with a host of investigators for the next several months.
More about Rochester New York, death of daniel Prude, Police chief fired, DOJ asked to investigate, release of preliminary report
 
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