NEW YORK (September 18, 2021)—Rochester Police are investigating vandalism that damaged a mural of Daniel Prude.
RPD says they were made aware of the incident near 52 Child Street by a local news station. Officers say the mural was spray painted, which covers some of the mural.
RPD says it is investigating the incident as a hate crime and is notifying the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911. Police say it is unknown exactly when the damage occurred.
Prude is the man who was having a mental health crisis in March 2020 when several officers pinned him to the ground and he suffocated. He died in the hospital a week later.
Who Was Daniel Prude?
Mr. Prude, a father of five children, lived in Chicago, where he grew up in a public housing complex. He, too, was one of five children, two of whom died in tragic incidents that left Mr. Prude rattled.
As an adult, Mr. Prude worked in warehouses and factories on Chicago’s Southwest Side, and friends remembered him working to help find jobs for others in the neighborhood. He lived with his sister, Tameshay, and grew close to her teenage sons.
Mr. Prude was visiting Rochester from Chicago on March 23, when he ran out of his brother’s home, shoeless and shirtless in an apparently erratic state. His brother, Joe, called 911. The police then got a separate call about a naked man running in the street and shouting he had the coronavirus.
The responding officers encountered Mr. Prude, rambling and apparently delirious, and handcuffed him with little trouble. When he began spitting, they covered his head with a hood, and when he tried to get to his feet, they pinned him face down on the ground, one pushing his head to the pavement, the video footage showed.
Mr. Prude stopped breathing after two minutes. Though medics resuscitated him at the scene, he died a week later at a hospital.
Source: WXXI.org reporting and New York Times wrote the original article.