Rochester Police Chief and command staff announced Tuesday they are retiring from the force after days of protests, according to ABC News.
Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary released a statement that he was honored to serve the city in upstate New York for 20 years.
Deputy Chief Joseph Morabito, who has served for 34 years, is also among those retiring.
Singletary said the protests and criticism of his handling of the investigation into the March 23 incident “are an attempt to destroy my character and integrity.”
“As a man of integrity, I will not sit idly by while outside entities attempt to destroy my character,” he said in a statement.
“The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and know what I stand for,” he added.
“It has also been my honor to serve this community through these many years; a community I was born and raised in, and deeply love,” he wrote in the statement.
The retirement will be effective Sept. 29.
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Mayor Lovely Warren informed the Rochester City Council that in addition to Singletary, the entire command staff announced its retirement today. She noted that none of the police brass were asked to resign.
Last week, body camera footage was released showing the March 23 incident involving Rochester police officers and Prude, 41. Prude’s brother, Joe, called 911 to get help, saying Daniel was having a mental health emergency.
In the video, officers approached Prude, who was naked, and Prude initially complied with the officers’ orders. Prude was subsequently seen shouting and spitting, which prompted officers to place a spit bag over his head.
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The officers are then seen pinning Prude to the ground while the bag is still on his head and he eventually goes lifeless. Prude died a week later.
The New York State Attorney General’s Office is investigating the incident and seven Rochester Police Department members have been suspended with pay.