Newly released transcripts show that a grand jury investigating the police suffocation death of Daniel Prude last year in Rochester, New York, voted 15-5 to clear the three officers involved in his restraint of a criminally negligent homicide charge sought by prosecutors.
That was the only charge prosecutors from the state attorney general’s office asked the grand jury to consider after nine days of testimony from witnesses including Prude’s brother, other police officers and experts.
The names of witnesses and jurors were blacked out of the transcripts, which were released Friday, weeks after State Attorney General Letitia James secured a judge’s OK to make the usually secret material public.
A video shows Prude handcuffed and naked with a spit hood over his head as an officer pushes his face against the ground, while another officer presses a knee to his back in the early morning of March 23, 2020. The officers held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing. He was taken off life support a week later.
One juror praised the prosecution team for helping make sense of the case, telling them: “You guys did amazing work. If it wasn’t for everything that you presented to us, I don’t think anybody would have come up with a decision. You worked very hard and I’m sure nobody took it lightly. It was a very serious case. It’s horrible what happened to him.”