On Friday, he said he was asked to “provide false information to support her narrative.”
Rochester’s former police chief said he did not initially see anything “egregious” in body camera video of officers restraining Daniel Prude, the Black man who died after being held down naked on a city street last winter.
La’Ron Singletary, who was fired by the mayor after the video’s public release, answered questions Friday in a livestreamed, hourslong deposition about the city’s handling of the case. The city council’s fact-finding review is separate from an ongoing grand jury investigation into Prude’s death.
The video shows Prude handcuffed and naked with a spit hood over his head as an officer pushes his face against the ground, while another officer presses a knee to his back in the early morning of March 23. The officers held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing. He was taken off life support a week later.
Singletary said he spoke twice to Mayor Lovely Warren on March 23 and by then, he had watched some of the body camera footage from the scene, according to the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester.
“It appeared that there was nothing egregious at that point in time,” Singletary said he told Warren. “I explained to the mayor that we were going to be doing an investigation. I told the mayor there were no strikes, there were no punches with regard to the video.”
The county medical examiner listed the manner of death as homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint” and cited PCP as a contributing factor.
The Prude family held a news conference and released the video on Sept. 2, sparking nightly protests in Rochester.
Singletary claimed in legal papers filed in December that Warren urged him to omit facts and give false information to back her claim that it wasn’t until months later that she learned key details of the police encounter that led to Prude’s death.
On Friday, he said he was asked to “provide false information to support her narrative.”
The city released a statement Friday saying Singletary “downplayed what occurred from the very beginning through today, and believes that neither he nor anyone in the Rochester Police Department, did anything wrong.”
Tens of thousands of people, including MPs and ministers from all countries, former Nobel laureates and distinguished academics, can propose candidates for the various Nobel prizes.
Black Lives Matter, a movement which became a rallying cry after the killing by US police of an unarmed black man, has been proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize, a Norwegian MP said Saturday.
Founded in the United States in 2013, the movement received an impetus in May after George Floyd died.
A white policeman had knelt on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes ignoring Floyd’s pleas that he couldn’t breathe.
The incident fuelled protests in the United States that sped across the world.
“This movement has become one of the strongest global movements for working with racial injustice,” Petter Eide, a socialist lawmaker who proposed BLM for the Peace Prize, told AFP.
“They have also been spread to many many countries, building up… awareness on the importance of fighting racial injustice,” he said.
The deadline ends on Sunday.
Several other names have been mooted for the Peace Prize including controversial Wikileaks founder and whistleblower Julian Assange, former US president Donald Trump, media rights group RSF and a trio of Belarusian opposition leaders led by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
The Nobel prizes will be announced at the start of October. This year’s prize went to the World Food Programme, the UN food agency.
Social media reacts as African, Caribbean and diaspora history professor in US refers to herself as a ‘culture leech’.
A white professor who teaches African, Caribbean and diaspora history pretended to be a Black woman for years, reigniting a debate about the appropriation of race and identity in the United States.
Jessica Krug, who teaches at George Washington University in Washington, DC admitted in a blog post on Medium that for the better part of her adult life, “every move I’ve made, every relationship I’ve formed, has been rooted in the napalm toxic soil of lies”.
George Washington University on Thursday said Krug’s revelations were now being investigated.
Krug wrote: “To an escalating degree over my adult life, I have eschewed my lived experience as a white Jewish child in suburban Kansas City under various assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim: first North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness.
“I have built my life on a violent anti-Black lie, and I have lied in every breath I have taken.”
Krug cited her childhood trauma as a “likely explanation” for her behaviour.
“But mental health issues can never, will never, neither explain nor justify, neither condone nor excuse, that, in spite of knowing and regularly critiquing any and every non-Black person who appropriates from Black people, my false identity was crafted entirely from the fabric of Black lives,” Krug said.
“I am not a culture vulture. I am a culture leech … I am a coward.”
Krug’s admission led to debate on social media.
Yarimar Bonilla, a former colleague of Krug’s, said there “was always something off with her”.
“She always dressed/acted inappropriately – she’d show up to a 10am scholars’ seminar dressed for a salsa club etc – but was so over the top strident and ‘woker-than-though’ that I felt like I was trafficking in respectability politics when I cringed at her minstrel show,” Bonilla posted on Twitter.
Leslie Mac, an activist and digital strategist, said Krug’s actions showed that “white women continually harm our communities and are rewarded for their efforts”.
Krug’s history of deception about her identity is similar to the case of Rachel Dolezal – a white woman from Spokane, Washington, who publicly identified herself as Black.
In 2015, when Dolezal was outed, she was president of the Spokane branch of the NAACP, a civil rights organisation, and a a part-time African studies teacher at a local university. She lost both positions after her fabrications were made public.
Dolezal, who said she started identifying as Black around the age of five, was a graduate from Howard University, an historically Black institute, which she sued in 2002 for discrimination against white people and for favouring African American students.
Daniel Prude’s family calls for the arrest of the police officers involved in death by asphyxiation.
The police officers involved in the arrest and asphyxiation death of a Black man in New York state have been suspended, the mayor of Rochester said on Thursday, one day after harrowing footage of the March incident was released.
Daniel Prude’s family on Wednesday released body camera footage from his arrest in March in Rochester, in upstate New York, which showed a group of officers putting a hood over Prude’s head as he knelt on the ground, handcuffed and naked.
Local newspaper Democrat and Chronicle reported on Thursday that Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren had ordered the “immediate suspension” of seven police officers involved in the incident. The newspaper did not identify the officers.
“Mr Daniel Prude was failed by our police department, our mental healthcare system, our society, and he was failed by me,” Warren told reporters. “We cannot continue to fail Black lives in this way.”
Prude’s family has called for the arrest of the officers involved in his death, which came seven days after the incident. Prude was 41.
The Monroe County medical examiner ruled his death a homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint”, according to an autopsy report, the New York Times reported.
Prude’s asphyxiation occurred two months before the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, which spurred international protests against police brutality and racial injustice in the US.
Prude’s family obtained video of the arrest after filing a freedom of information act request, CBS-affiliate WROC-TV reported.
The video prompted protests in Rochester on Wednesday, with dozens of people calling for the police to be held accountable and removed from the department while the investigation proceeds. Nine protesters were arrested, according to the local Democrat and Chronicle newspaper.
Several dozen people also held a demonstration in Times Square in New York City, 300 miles to the south, on Thursday.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called for “expeditious” answers.
“For the sake of Mr Prude’s family and the greater Rochester community, I am calling for this case to be concluded as expeditiously as possible. For that to occur, we need the full and timely cooperation of the Rochester Police Department and I trust it will fully comply,” Cuomo said.
The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating, as state law requires whenever police are involved in a civilian’s death.
“The Prude family and the greater Rochester community deserve answers, and we will continue to work around the clock to provide them,” James said in a statement.
In the video, an officer placed a “spit hood” over Prude’s head – apparently to prevent his spit from possibly transmitting the novel coronavirus.
Prude could be heard shouting, “Take this … off my face!” and “You’re trying to kill me!” before his shouts turned to cries and became muffled. Officers were heard saying “Calm down” and “stop spitting”.
Later, the video showed an officer kneeling on Prude’s back while Prude was silent and snow fell around them. Someone was heard saying, “start CPR”. Minutes later, the video showed Prude being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher.
Rochester police chief La’Ron Singletary told reporters on Wednesday that internal and criminal investigations were under way.
“I know that there’s a rhetoric that is out there that this is a cover-up. This is not a cover-up,” Singletary said.
Warren, the mayor, said Thursday that Singletary failed to provide her with the full details of what happened during the March incident until early August, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.
“The only way we can confront systemic racism in our city is to face it head-on,” Warren said, as reported by the newspaper. “There can not be a justice system for white people and a justice system for Black people.”
Biden’s trip comes two days after President Trump condemned violent protesters there.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday spoke with Jacob Blake, a Black man whose shooting by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, two weeks ago led to days of violent protests.
“I had an opportunity to spend some time with Jacob on the phone. He’s out of (intensive care), we spoke for about 15 minutes,” Biden told a community meeting at a church in Kenosha.
“He talked about how nothing was going to defeat him, how whether he walked again or not, he was not going to give up.”
Upon landing in Milwaukee, which is about 72km (45 miles) north of Kenosha, Biden met Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr, his siblings, and one of his lawyers, B’Ivory LaMarr. Blake, Blake’s mother Julia Jackson and another lawyer, Ben Crump, joined by phone. Blake remains hospitalised after being shot seven times in the back by a white Kenosha police officer as authorities tried to arrest him.
Trump denies systemic racism, pushes ‘law and order’ in Kenosha
Biden, who US President Donald Trump has said would be “weak” in dealing with rioters, framed his visit to Kenosha as an effort to unify the country after months of protests demanding racial justice.
“We’re finally now getting to the point where we’re going to be addressing the original sin of this country, 400 years old … slavery and all the vestiges of it,” Biden said during a community discussion at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha with business and civic leaders and at least two representatives of law enforcement.
“I can’t say if tomorrow God made me president, I can’t guarantee you everything gets solved in four years,” Biden said. But “it would be a whole better, we’d get a whole lot further down the road” if Trump isn’t re-elected.
“There’s certain things worth losing over,” he concluded, “and this is something worth losing over if you have to — but we’re not going to lose.”
Biden’s visit to Kenosha came two days after Trump toured the city, albeit with a much different agenda, one that did not include a meeting with the Blake family or even a public mention of Blake’s name, for that matter.
Trump, who defied requests by the city’s mayor and Democratic Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers not to visit, instead emphasised his “law and order” campaign theme, calling the violence “domestic terror” and “anti-American”.
Protests broke out in cities across the US following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in police custody, with some of them turning violent.
On August 23, a policeman shot Blake in the back seven times, sparking civil unrest that attracted groups of white men carrying weapons.
Two nights after Blake was shot, two protesters were shot dead and another wounded allegedly by 17-year old Kyle Rittenhouse, from neighbouring Antioch, Illinois.
A video appeared to show Rittenhouse shooting protesters in two separate incidents, killing two white men and wounding a third, and making Kenosha a flashpoint in the presidential campaign.
Trump and fellow Republicans may feel that the violence in Kenosha could have a political impact in that battleground state.
Unlike protests in large cities such as Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; New York City and Chicago, which are all surrounded by areas that tend to vote Democratic and are generally not factors in deciding presidential elections, Kenosha is in a county where Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 238 votes in 2016 and in a state that he won by 22,748 votes, a less than 1 percent margin.
Biden’s critics, including Trump, have aimed to paint him as “weak” on crime and argued he will not stand up to rioters, forcing Biden, whose advisers are acutely aware of the electoral importance of Wisconsin, to respond multiple times this week, culminating in Thursday’s trip to Kenosha.
Republicans’ hopes – and Democrats’ fears – that Biden’s polling lead over Trump would be negatively affected by Trump’s “law and order” focus, have not been confirmed as of yet. Polling out this week showed Biden’s lead nationally and in several battleground states generally holding steady.
In addition, a Media poll of Wisconsin voters (known to Noble Reporters Media) released on Wednesday revealed that voters there prefer Biden over Trump by 5 percentage points to handle policing and criminal justice.
Shooting of Deon Kay prompted protests in US capital amid increased nationwide scrutiny over police.
Police in Washington, DC, on Thursday released body camera footage of the fatal shooting of a young Black man in the city’s southeast, which ignited protests in the US capital.
The killing on Wednesday of 18-year-old Deon Kay prompted a late-night face-off between the police and dozens of protesters outside a city police station.
Chanting “say his name”, “Deon Kay” and “no justice, no sleep”, protesters on Thursday marched to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s residence, calling on her to fire the Washington, DC police chief, local television news station NBC4 reported.
The killing comes amid a nationwide protest movement decrying police violence against Black people and increased nationwide and local scrutiny over police tactics.
In a news conference on Thursday, Bowser offered her condolences to Kay’s family and said an investigation was under way.
“Our community is hurting and we know that they want answers,” she said. “We are still gathering all the facts and [the Metropolitan Police Department] and my administration will conduct a full investigation of this incident.”
The Washington, DC police department said Kay had “brandished a firearm” at officers.
The chief of the MPD, Peter Newsham, on Thursday said Kay was one of two people who fled when approached by uniformed officers who were investigating reports of a man with a gun in the area.
“Two individuals fled on foot and officers pursued them, one of those men brandished a firearm from his waistband as he was fleeing,” Newsham said during the news conference.
“In response, an MPD officer discharged his service weapon firing a single shot at the individual.”
Police said the other man, who escaped from police, and Kay were taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
In a statement on Wednesday, police included pictures of the handgun they said Kay had been carrying, as well as of the gun of another of his companions who was arrested.
The local Black Lives Matter affiliate called for immediate protests outside the MPD’s 7th District headquarters, stating in a tweet: “DC police murdered a Black man today.”
On Wednesday night, videos posted on social media showed dozens of enraged protesters jostling with a line of police officers, who used bicycles to help form a barrier in front of the station.
Police killings of Black people have sparked nationwide protests and calls for sweeping police reform, prompting local efforts by the DC Council to bring greater transparency to such incidents.
In June, following the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, the council passed emergency legislation requiring the MPD to release any body camera footage from fatal shootings or use-of-force incidents within five days.
The department must also release the names of the officers involved.
In July, the city released body camera footage from three separate fatal incidents dating back to 2018.
Kay’s shooting also comes after the release of a video showing a deadly incident involving police in Rochester, New York.
Daniel Prude, a Black man, died of suffocation in March after a group of police officers put a hood over his head and then pressed his face into the pavement for two minutes. Prude died seven days after the incident occurred when he was taken off life support.
Video of March encounter shows police put hood on Daniel Prude and pinned him down to the pavement for two minutes.
A Black man died of suffocation in Rochester, United States, in March after a group of police officers put a hood over his head and then pressed his face into the pavement for two minutes, according to video and records released by the man’s family.
Daniel Prude died on March 30 after he was taken off life support, seven days after the encounter with police in Rochester, New York state.
His death did not receive public attention until Wednesday, when his family held a news conference and released police body camera video and written reports they obtained through a public records request.
Prude’s brother, Joe, said he called 911 on March 23 after his sibling, who was visiting from Chicago, ran out of their home in an erratic state. Just the day before, Rochester police had taken Daniel Prude into custody for a mental health evaluation after he reported suicidal thoughts.
“I placed a phone call for my brother to get help. Not for my brother to get lynched,” Joe Prude said at a news conference.
“How did you see him and not directly say, ‘The man is defenceless, buck naked on the ground. He’s cuffed up already. Come on.’ How many more brothers gotta die for society to understand that this needs to stop?”
‘Trying to kill me’ The videos show Prude, who had taken off his clothes, complying when police ask him to get on the ground and put his hands behind his back. Prude is agitated and shouting as he sits on the pavement in handcuffs for a few moments as a light snow falls. “Give me your gun, I need it,” he shouts.
Then, they put a white “spit hood” over his head, a device intended to protect officers from a detainee’s saliva. At the time, New York was in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prude demands they remove it.
Then the officers slam Prude’s head into the street. One officer, who is white, holds his head down against the pavement with both hands, saying “calm down” and “stop spitting”. Another officer places a knee on his back.
“Trying to kill me!” Prude says, his voice becoming muffled and anguished under the hood.
“OK, stop. I need it. I need it,” the prone man begs before his shouts turn to whimpers and grunts.
The officers appear to become concerned after he stops moving, falls silent and they notice water coming out of Prude’s mouth.
“My man. You puking?” one says.
One officer notes that he’s been out, naked, in the street for some time. Another remarks, “He feels pretty cold.”
His head had been held down by an officer for just over two minutes, the video shows.
The officers then remove the hood and his handcuffs and medics can then be seen performing CPR before he is loaded into an ambulance.
A medical examiner concluded that Prude’s death was a homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint”. The report lists excited delirium and acute intoxication by phencyclidine, or PCP, as contributing factors.
Protests The death is now under investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
It occurred two months before the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died on May 25 after a policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
The Minneapolis death set off mass protests across the US and the world, with tens of thousands of demonstrators rallying against racial injustice and police brutality.
Rochester activists on Wednesday demanded that the police involved in Prude’s death be prosecuted on murder charges and that they be removed from the department while the investigation proceeds.
“The police have shown us over and over again that they are not equipped to handle individuals with mental health concerns. These officers are trained to kill, and not to de-escalate. These officers are trained to ridicule, instead of supporting Mr Daniel Prude,” Ashley Gantt of Free the People ROC said at the news conference with Prude’s family.
Later in the day, dozens of protesters gathered outside Rochester’s Public Safety Building, which serves as police headquarters, chanting: “Which side are you on?”
Free the People ROC said several of its organisers were briefly taken into custody after they entered the building while Mayor Lovely Warren was speaking to the media.
The mayor described the video showing Prude’s restraint by police as “disturbing”.
“I want everyone to understand that at no point in time did we feel that this was something that we wanted not to disclose,” she told reporters.
“Rest assured that we are going to do everything possible to make sure that the truth comes out and that justice is held here,” she added.
The US continues to grapple with racial injustice as protests continue in several cities in the wake of shootings.
Relative calm returned to Kenosha, Wisconsin, overnight Wednesday into Thursday after two people were shot dead during protests the night before, while unrest in Minneapolis prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency, as the United States continues to grapple with racial injustice.
Kenosha authorities had on Wednesday identified the officer who fired seven shots at the back of Jacob Blake, paralysing the Black man, and sparking anti-racism protests.
After three nights of civil strife – including arson, vandalism and the shootings that killed two people on Tuesday night – calm appeared to take hold in Kenosha.
Violent protests had erupted on Wednesday night in the Midwestern city of Minneapolis, 598km (372 miles) northwest of Kenosha, following the death of a Black homicide suspect who, police say, shot himself.
The governor of Minnesota declared a state of peacetime emergency.
The city has been the centre of protests following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, who died in May after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Floyd’s death and further violence against Black people have led to broader anti-racism protests and demonstrations against police brutality in cities across the US.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey imposed a curfew following what he described as mass looting of businesses, destruction of property and unrest. Authorities also said misinformation was spread concerning the death of the suspect.
A video posted on social media, which could not be verified immediately by Reuters news agency, showed shots being fired and ransacking of shops.
Minneapolis police posted a surveillance video of the shooting on Twitter, saying that the victim, a suspect in a homicide, committed suicide and that no weapons were fired by police.
The video shows a Black man shooting himself at the entrance of a building as a nearby group of people ran away and police approached the scene.
Other unverified videos posted on social media appeared to show police shooting demonstrators with less-lethal munitions as they moved away from authorities.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declared a state of emergency in Minneapolis and said the National Guard would be deployed in the area.
“Dangerous, unlawful behavior will not be tolerated. The Minnesota National Guard and State Patrol are headed to Minneapolis to help restore order,” Walz said in a statement.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul had on Wednesday identified Rusten Sheskey as the white police officer who shot Blake after the latter opened his car door on Sunday. Blake’s three young sons were in the car. Kaul also said investigators found a knife on the floor of Blake’s car.
Rifle-toting civilians had come to Kenosha during the protest, among them 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who was arrested on Wednesday on homicide charges in connection with Tuesday night’s shootings. Rittenhouse, a police supporter, was arrested at his home in Antioch, Illinois, about 30km (20 miles) away.
Anti-racism protests have become a polarising issue ahead of the November 3 presidential election, which Vice President Mike Pence and other Republicans described as a choice between “law and order” and lawlessness at their national convention on Wednesday.
“The hard truth is you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Pence told the crowd seated on a lawn at historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore in reference to the Democratic challenger to President Donald Trump.
Teenager charged over killings at Kenosha protest Police in Portland, Oregon, had on Wednesday declared a demonstration near a US immigration agency building as an “unlawful gathering”, ordering the crowds to disperse. Police said they made 11 arrests in the city which has been the scene of weeks of anti-racism protests and unrest.
Violent protests also erupted in Oakland, California, resulting in the arrests of several people after multiple fires were set during the demonstrations, according to police.
Oakland police said on Twitter a fire was started at the Alameda Superior Court by people who protested in solidarity with Wisconsin demonstrators on Wednesday.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) postponed three play-off games scheduled for Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks, protesting against racial injustice, boycotted Game 5 of their play-off series against the Orlando Magic.
NBA players and officials were to meet on Thursday to decide whether the boycott would continue.
Tennis player Naomi Osaka pulled out of the semi-finals of a tennis tournament in Ohio on Wednesday in protest against the shooting of Blake.
Osaka, who has a Japanese mother and a Haitian father and has been a vocal supporter of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, said in a social media post: “Before I am an athlete, I am a Black woman.”