ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester Police Department says it has served an officer involved in the death of Daniel Prude with “departmental charges.”
According to a press release obtained by WHAM and Reuters, officer Mark Vaughn was charged on Thursday in connection with his role in the March 2020 incident, where police held Prude down naked and handcuffed on a city street until he stopped breathing. The “departmental” charges are not yet known.
“The department fully supports officer Vaughn’s right to due process and to defend himself against the charges, of which no pre-determined outcome has been put in place. A formal hearing will be scheduled in the future,” wrote the department.
In the case, no other officers were charged.
WHAM reports that Prude had been high on PCP and was found naked by police after his brother called 911, claiming his sibling was suffering from a mental illness. Prude lost consciousness after being restrained by officers and was taken to hospital where he later died.
The county medical examiner listed Prude’s manner of death as a homicide, and he died of asphyxiation.
After video of the incident, which was released several months later, nightly protests erupted in upstate New York City over the death of the 41 year-old Black man. WHAM reports that officer Vaughn was seen putting a spit-sock on Prude’s head.
This past February, a grand jury announced that it would not seek charges against the officers involved in the incident.
The police department says it remains committed to reform efforts and taking necessary action to ensure trust and transparency with the community it’s sworn to serve.
Police say they’ve taken steps in the past 17 months to improve its policies, including launching a crisis intervention team, new officer training programs, and formal protest response plans. The department says it also released four revised officer policies that went into effect earlier this year, called “duty to intervene, chokehold ban, mental hygiene detention and de-escalation.”
The department says it’s also revising its use of force policies and the changes will go into effect following formal officer training this fall.