Top leaders in the Rochester, New York police department have retired en masse, as they deal with Black Lives Matter protests and criticism of the handling of the death of Daniel Prude. Among those who retired re Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, his Deputy Chief Joseph M. Morabito and Chief of Administration Mark L. Simmons, according to the Daily Mail.
Singletary has been facing calls to resign since details emerged regarding Prude’s death. Following the release of body camera footage of the arrest, Rochester–a city that has about 200,000 residents–erupted in sometimes violent protests.
The video in question shows police putting a hood over Prude’s head while trying to restrain him, and stop him from spitting.
The police chief said in a statement that events over the past week are an attempt to destroy his “character and integrity.”
He said, “As a man of integrity, I will not sit idly by while outside entities attempt to destroy my character. The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and know what I stand for. The mischaracterization and the politicization of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr Prude’s death is not based on facts, and is not what I stand for.”
Singletary has spent his entire career in the Rochester Police Department and was promoted to chief in April of last year.
Prude’s brother had called 9-11 due to Daniel Prude’s unusual behavior. Following the release of body cam footage, New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced that seven police officers were suspended, and that she would form a grand jury and conduct an “exhaustive investigation” into the matter.
Meanwhile, the Rochester Police Department claims their officers were following training protocols.
It is unclear what will happen in Rochester, now that the entire Police Department’s senior staff is resigning at once.