Adrian Kraus / AP
Rochester city officials, including the former chief of police and mayor, “knowingly prevented” information from reaching the public, and some officials made “incorrect statements” about the events leading to the death of Daniel Broad, a black man suffering from mental health from an accident that suffocated her. The police are tied and handcuffed.
An independent report released Friday narrates how former Rochester Police Chief Laron Singletary and Mayor Lovely Warren, over the course of more than five months, took deliberate steps to avoid revealing the disturbing nature of the confrontation between Brod and the officers. The investigation concluded that their actions were motivated by fears of protests and potential violence amid a national account of the deaths of defenseless blacks in police custody.
“In the final analysis, the decision not to disclose these facts publicly is with Mayor Warren, as the mayor-elect of Rochester,” said Andrew Sealy, appointed by the city council, in an 84-page report.
“But Mayor Warren alone is not responsible for suppressing the conditions of Brod’s detention and the death of Mr. Broad.”
The tragic accident, which his family began calling the police to help them deal with Cold during a psychotic and drug attack, took place on March 23, 2020. He was naked and was acting irregularly, according to police reports. This prompted officers to handcuff the 41-year-old and put a hood over his head at the end to prevent him from spitting on the officers. A medical examiner declared Brod’s death – after seven days in the hospital – a murder, saying that the direct cause was “asphyxiation when my body is tied.”
But his death was not made public until early September, when officials heeded a public records request for police body camera footage of the arrest the family had submitted months earlier.
The video sparked outrage when the family posted it, prompting the family Days of protests The mayor and police chief are calling for his resignation amid black-out accusations.
Warren later fired Singletary, after a preliminary report from the Deputy Mayor I found serious problems As police and city leaders responded to Broad’s death. The mayor also suspended the city attorney, Tim Curtin, and its communications director, Justin Rouge, for 30 days without pay. Warren called for federal investigations and citywide reforms based on the findings and recommendations of the one-page report.
Celli recalled internal communications, emails, phone records, and text messages. He also fired Warren, Singletari, and other city officials.
Throughout the report, Seeley found that Singletari “consistently played down the role of police restraints in the death of Daniel Broad, and that his statements did not reflect the disturbing content of the entire confrontation.”
The president’s description also likely influenced how city officials who were told of the police death viewed what happened, according to Sealy.
Other city officials also played a role in delaying or trying to prevent information from appearing in public, and at times making dangerous false statements.
City attorney Curtin said, “actively” discouraging the mayor from speaking out about the arrest after Warren saw body camera footage for the first time, “citing reasons that are factually incorrect, legally unfounded, or both,” the report states. . During one of the meetings, attorney told Warren that she was prevented from taking any disciplinary action against the officer involved in the arrest until the conclusion of the investigation by the prosecutor’s office. Curtin claimed that the attorney general’s office “asked the city not to take any action with regard to disciplining the officers” and ordered the city to “stand down” and not make any public statements on the Prude issue. ”
But the report states: “In fact, OAG did not order the city to“ stand down ”and not make any public statements on the Prude Matter case, and there was no factual basis for Mr. Curtin to assert this.
It was also found that Councilor Marie Lubian deliberately kept the information from her colleagues. Loubien, who learned of the arrest nearly two months before the family received the requested documents, chose not to speak publicly or alert other city officials about the matter.
The report also notes deliberate efforts by Singletary and other city officials to delay the release of body camera shots of the Prude family. It included requests for additional release forms that were not necessary, and then delayed delivery of the form from the city attorney to law enforcement. Another way to disrupt the process “is attributed to the efforts of the Legal Department to accommodate the request of senior officials in the [Rochester Police Department], Including Chief Singletary, for withholding BWC footage for fear its release could cause civil unrest and violence following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020.
Although Warren was informed by Singletary of Prude’s arrest, lost consciousness during the accident, and suffered life-threatening injuries, the mayor waited more than four months to view body camera shots.
When she did, Warren expressed her shock, anger, and profound dismay at the behavior of the Refugee Protection Police officers, as illustrated in the BWC video – particularly Officer Vaughn’s behavior in pressing Mr. Broad’s head at the sidewalk and the laughter and arrogant attitude that the officers showed at the scene “.
Singletary had previously told the mayor that he had reviewed the body camera video and that he did not see anything “terrible” in the officers’ behavior. He stated that the officers had placed Brod’s head on the ground and pressed his back to stabilize him. “Singletary did not describe the officers at the scene as joking or making fun of Mr. Brod.”
In December, the Rochester Office of Public Integrity It released its own report, Saying it found “no evidence” that any city employee violated any “policies or ethical standards” in Brod’s death. In February, after a months-long investigation by the New York State Attorney’s Office, a grand jury voted to hold no charges brought against Rochester police officers in connection with Brod’s death.
At the time, state attorney general, Letitia James, said, “The current laws on lethal force have created a system that Mr. Broad and many before him have failed miserably. Serious reforms are needed, not just in the Rochester Police Department, but for our criminal justice system as a whole. “.
The officers involved in the killing are still hanging. Warren, who was Accused In October, accused of mismanaging campaign funds, seeking a third term as mayor.