Rochester Chief of Police, Other Top Cops Resign from Force: Criticism ‘Mischaracterization and Politicized’

Rochester Police Chief La'Ron Singletary, right, seen before a community meeting in Rochester, N.Y., Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, that the city’s police chief is among those retiring, along with other senior commanders, amid criticism of the city’s handling of the the …
AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

The chief of police in Rochester, New York –site of violent protests over the death of a black man, Daniel Prude, in police custody – has resigned along with several other top cops.

Chief La’Ron Singletary released a letter about his resignation and 20 years of service, which said, in part:

The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and what I stand for. 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.

I would like the thank the men and women of the Rochester Police Department, as well as the Rochester Community for allowing me the honor of serving as your chief and fulfilling a lifelong dream. I look forward to serve our community in my next chapter.

According to the public information officer with the Rochester police, Deputy Chief Joseph Morabito and Commander Fabian Rivera also announced their retirement. 

An NBC affiliate in New York reported on events that led up to Prude’s death:

Last week, Mayor Lovely Warren suspended the seven officers involved in Prude’s death after his family released police video from the March night when he was restrained on the streets of New York’s third-largest city.

The video shows the officers covering Prude’s head with a “spit hood” designed to protect police from bodily fluids, after he complied with being handcuffed, then pressing his face into the pavement for two minutes. Prude, 41, was naked at the time of his arrest on the light-snowy day in March. He died a week later after he was taken off life support.

The police union head said the officers were following their training.

“The chief and I, we love our city. We were born and raised here,” Warren said on Sunday. “We are committed to making the necessary changes to make sure this community moves forward.”

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