This episode contains strong language.
In March, Daniel Prude was exhibiting signs of a mental health crisis. His brother called an ambulance in the hopes that Mr. Prude would be hospitalized, but he was sent back home after three hours without a diagnosis.
Later, when Mr. Prude ran out of the house barely clothed into the Rochester night, his brother, Joe Prude, again called on the authorities for help, but this time it was to the police.
After a struggle with officers, Daniel Prude suffered cardiac distress. It would be days before Joe Prude was able to visit him in the hospital — permitted only so he could decide whether to take his brother off life support — and months before the family would find out what had happened when he was apprehended.
Today, we hear from Joe Prude about that night and examine the actions taken by the police during his brother’s arrest, including the official narrative that emerged after his death.
In the minutes after Mr. Prude’s heart briefly stopped during a struggle with officers, an unofficial police narrative took hold: He had suffered a drug overdose. But the release of body camera footage complicated that version of events.
The Monroe County medical examiner ruled Mr. Prude’s death a homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.” Seven Rochester police officers have now been suspended.
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Sarah Maslin Nir contributed reporting.
“The Daily” is made by Theo Balcomb, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Kelly Prime, Julia Longoria, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Hans Buetow, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Giaever, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi and Rachelle Bonja. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Mikayla Bouchard, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Nora Keller, Sofia Milan and Desiree Ibekwe.