Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary announced his retirement Tuesday, days after details of the police killing of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died in March after officers violently detained him, were revealed in newly released body camera footage. Other members of the department also announced their retirement.
“As a man of integrity, I will not sit idly by while outside entities attempt to destroy my character,” Singletary said in a statement. “The events over the past week are an attempt to destroy my character and integrity.”
Protests ignited in Rochester following the release of video of Prude’s encounter with police in March.
As seen in bodycam footage, a group of officers approached 41-year-old Prude, who complied with their requests for him to lie face-down on the ground and put his hands behind his back. Officers are seen placing a “spit hood” over his head, then shoving his head to the ground. One officer places his knee on Prude’s back while another officer holds his head down with two hands, the video shows.
Prude died seven days later after he was taken off life support.
Protestors in Rochester demanded the resignation of Singletary after a medical examiner ruled Prude’s death a homicide. Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren has also been called to resign. Warren announced changes in policing on Sunday, but stopped short of saying she was stepping down. On Tuesday, she told city council members that “the entire command staff” had retired, including Deputy Chief Joseph Morabito.
“The entire Rochester Police Department command staff has announced their retirement,” Warren said. Though it wasn’t immediately clear how many members are on the command staff, Warren added that “there may be a number of others that will decide to leave as well and retire.”