Rochester, New York – The highest civil rights settlement in the city’s history—a $12 million agreement with Daniel Prude’s estate—was revealed by Mayor Malik Evans on Thursday.
In March 2020, Prude passed away a week after being forcibly restrained by Rochester Police Department officers who had been dispatched after Prude’s family contacted 911 to express worry for his safety during a mental health crisis.
The cause of Prude’s death, “complications of suffocation in the setting of a physical constraint,” was determined to be PCP and agitated delirium, and it was classified as a homicide.
The city hid information regarding Prude’s detention and death, which was discovered by a special investigator in September 2020 and led to protests and requests for action.
In a wrongful death case, Prude’s family demanded compensation for “pain, suffering, and anxiety prior to his death.”
Prude’s death was the subject of an inquiry by Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, but a grand jury was unable to indict any of the police involved due to a lack of sufficient evidence.
Prude’s family sued the city in federal court for his wrongful death and claimed cover-up efforts in March 2021. Additionally, it alleged that officers did nothing to address Prude’s medical situation.
Elliot Shields, the family’s lawyer, released a statement in response to the settlement news.
Prude’s two sons and three daughters will receive the remainder of the settlement after paying some legal expenses.