UNITED STATES. Rochester, NY. Following the 6th night of thousands of protesters taking to the streets, subjected to 2 nights of offensive tactics by the police to disperse the peaceful gathering, protesters celebrate a victory as the Chief of Police, La’Ron Singletary, and the entire Command Team of the Rochester Police Department, announced their retirements today.
The actions of the protesters were in response to the 23 March murder of an unarmed Black man whose brother called 911 seeking mental health assistance for his brother who was wandering the streets naked on a wintry night. Daniel Prude, 41, was restrained by police officers, one of whom put a knee on Prude’s neck, leading to his asphyxiation and subsequent death.
In a statement announcing his retirement, Singletary said, “As a man of integrity, I will not sit idly by while outside entities attempt to destroy my character. The events over the past week are an attempt to destroy my character and integrity. The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and know what I stand for.”
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While many in the community think the chief’s retirement is a measure toward the justice they have been seeking, they feel it is not enough. Free the People ROC, a Black Lives Matter group posted on their Facebook page, “Let’s keep the pressure up until all those responsible for Daniel Prude’s murder and cover up—including Mayor Lovely Warren—have resigned, taken responsibility, and donated their pensions to the families they allowed to be harmed. Together we have the ability to hold those in power accountable and bring an end to systemic police violence in our community.”