Unbiased investigator in Daniel Prude’s loss of life says ‘nobody is off limits’


“There’s actually one query right here,” lawyer Andrew Celli Jr. advised reporters Friday. “And that’s, was there a cover-up?”

Celli stated his investigation goals to find out a timeline of occasions, whether or not there was alleged inner cover-up, and the way the details about Prude’s loss of life was saved from the general public within the metropolis in western New York.

His crew plans to challenge a number of subpoenas by Monday to the workplace of Rochester Mayor Pretty Warren, the Rochester Police Division, the town regulation division and the town council itself. However these 4 subpoenas are simply the beginning, Celli stated, and he expects “quite a lot of” individuals will likely be deposed below oath.

“Nobody is off limits,” he stated.

Celli plans to make the record of subpoenas and depositions publicly out there when it is full, he stated. On the finish of what Celli expects to be a three-month investigation, the ultimate report will likely be made public in addition to transcripts of the depositions.

The unbiased investigation won’t give attention to street-level police practices, Celli stated, however particularly on the governmental processes after the interplay between police and Prude.

The Metropolis Council approved the unbiased investigation this week, tasking Celli’s regulation agency, Emery, Celli, Brinkerhoff, Abady, Ward & Maazel LLP, with figuring out what occurred throughout the metropolis’s companies after Prude’s loss of life in late March.
Earlier this week, the town launched greater than 300 pages of inner communications, police studies and different paperwork that present a concerted effort by police and metropolis officers to regulate the narrative round Prude’s loss of life in custody and delay the discharge of police physique digicam footage of his interplay with police.
Celli advised reporters Friday that his crew will dig deeper. His crew will seemingly coordinate with the New York Lawyer Normal’s workplace the place there’s overlap between investigations, in keeping with Celli. New York Lawyer Normal Letitia James introduced September 5 that she’s empaneling a grand jury to analyze Prude’s loss of life.

The unbiased investigation won’t give attention to street-level police practices, Celli stated, however particularly on the governmental processes after the interplay between police and Prude.

The mayor’s workplace declined to remark additional on the upcoming subpoenas on Friday. CNN didn’t hear again for remark from the Rochester Police Division.

A spokesman for the town council declined to remark additional on the upcoming subpoenas. Councilman Malik Evans advised CNN in a separate assertion that he was “happy that Council voted unanimously to start an investigation into the circumstances round Daniel Prude’s loss of life. Andrew Celli and his crew will likely be attending to work instantly to observe the details round this tragedy.”

Prude’s loss of life and police physique digicam footage of the deadly encounter have prompted protests in Rochester and accusations of a cover-up.
Prude was within the midst of a psychological well being episode on March 23 when his brother known as Rochester police for assist, in keeping with his household.
Rochester police chief fired in wake of Daniel Prude death

Attorneys for the household launched police bodycam footage that reveals officers handcuff a unadorned Prude and canopy his head with a “spit sock” after he claimed he had coronavirus and was spitting. Officers maintain the 41-year-old and push him to the bottom in a susceptible place, the video reveals.

He stopped respiration and was declared brain-dead at a hospital, the place he died every week later, on March 30.

The medical expert dominated Prude’s loss of life a murder, citing problems of asphyxia within the setting of bodily restraint. The report additionally cites excited delirium and acute PCP intoxication as contributing components to the instant reason behind loss of life.

Seven cops concerned have been suspended, in keeping with the mayor. This week, the mayor fired Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary and suspended two metropolis corridor division heads.

CNN’s Madeline Holcombe, Eric Levenson, Taylor Romine and Evan Simko-Benarski contributed to this report.


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