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Joe Prude, brother of Daniel Prude, holds his wife Valerie in front of City Hall in Rochester, New York in Sept. 2020. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Seven police officers suspended last year after putting a mesh hood on Daniel Prude until he lost consciousness will not face criminal charges following a grand jury vote, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday.

The big picture: Police Chief La'Ron Singletary was fired following Prude's death in Rochester, New York, which sparked dozens of nightly protests last September in the wake of a national reckoning in response to the deaths of Black men and women during police encounters.

What they're saying: "While I know that the Prude family, the Rochester community, and communities across the country will rightfully be devastated and disappointed, we have to respect this decision," James said in a statement.

  • "The current laws on deadly force have created a system that utterly and abjectly failed Mr. Prude and so many others before him. Serious reform is needed, not only at the Rochester Police Department, but to our criminal justice system as a whole."

Details: Prude's autopsy report characterized his death as a homicide, arising from "complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint," Rochester First reported at the time. PCP was listed as a contributing factor to his death by a county medical examiner, the AP reports.

  • The officers' lawyers said they "were strictly following their training that night, employing a restraining technique known as 'segmenting,'" per AP. They claim that Prude’s reported use of PCP served as the "root cause" of his death.
  • Law enforcement was called after Prude experienced a mental health crisis, his brother told reporters at the time and James repeated on Tuesday.

What to watch: “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York, the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are aware that a grand jury empaneled by the New York State Attorney General’s Office has concluded its investigation of the various officers of the Rochester Police Department who encountered Daniel Prude on March 23, 2020, and determined that no charges would be filed," the Department of Justice said in a statement Tuesday.

  • "We intend to review the comprehensive report issued by the New York State Attorney General, as well as any other relevant materials, and will determine whether any further federal response is warranted.”

Go deeper

Feb 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Colorado police had no legal basis to stop, frisk or restrain Elijah McClain, report finds

A protester holds a poster of Elijah McClain during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march. Photo: Tim Evans/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Police in Aurora, Colorado, had no legal basis to stop, frisk or use a chokehold on Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died in custody in 2019, according to a report by independent investigators released Monday.

Driving the news: The City Council in the Denver suburb ordered the independent review in June amid nationwide protests over the police killing George Floyd and other Black people.

Ahmaud Arbery's mother files civil lawsuit against men charged in son's death

Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, listens as attorneys speak outside the Glynn County Courthouse in July 2020 in Brunswick, Georgia. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The mother of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old Black man shot and killed one year ago in Georgia, filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday accusing the men indicted in her son's death — and the involved police officers — of conspiring to kill Arbery and violating his civil rights.

The big picture: Arbery's death is one of the many that drove nationwide Black Lives Matter protests last summer, alongside demonstrations over George Floyd's killing. Feb. 23 is the anniversary of Arbery's death.

2 hours ago - Sports

Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance

Former Utah Jazz player John Stockton during a 2017 press conference in Salt Lake City. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Gonzaga University suspended the season tickets of notable alumni John Stockton after the NBA Hall of Famer failed to comply with the school's basketball games mask mandate, the Spokesman-Review first reported.

Driving the news: "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," the former Utah Jazz point guard told the outlet in an interview Saturday.