Mayor Lovely Warren of Rochester, New York on Tuesday announced the resignation of the Rochester Police Department (RPD) command staff, including Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, over the death of Daniel Prude.
“Asked during a city council meeting who will be in charge during tonight’s protests, the mayor said she doesn’t know. ‘We would have to find an interim chief,’ says Warren. ‘Because I just got the call before this hearing, I don’t know.’”
Chief La’Ron Singletary stepped down on Tuesday after 20 years on the force. He said the events of the past week “are an attempt to destroy my character and integrity.”
By filing his retirement papers, the chief and the other officers will be able to draw on their pension and health benefits.
“The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and know what I stand for,” Singletary, 40, said in his resignation letter. “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.”
Mayor Warren said that the chief will remain in charge of the department through the end of the month.
“While the timing and tenor of these resignations is difficult, we have faced tough times before. We will get through this together,” Warren said.”
Earlier, local activists have demanded the resignation of Singletary and Warren over the interaction with Daniel Prude. They say Rochester officials did not release the police body camera footage until earlier this month, though the allegedly violent interaction took place back in March.
Daniel Prude died several weeks after that.
Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office reported that Prude’s cause of death was “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint due to excited delirium due to acute phencyclidine intoxication,’ an indication that Prude might have been high on PCP.”
According to police reports, Prude had “gone on a destructive tear,” “smashing out the windows of several storefronts, and ranting about having the coronavirus” before the police came in contact with him.