New York State Bar Association President Scott M. Karson issued the following statement about revelations regarding the case of Daniel Prude, a mentally ill Black man whose treatment by Rochester Police sparked widespread condemnation and protest. He was taken into custody March 23 and died March 30, but the circumstances of his death have only recently come to light.
“Trust between a community and its police department is the foundation of our criminal justice system, without which the entire system is called into question. The circumstances surrounding Mr. Prude’s tragic death, coming on the heels of far too many similar incidents across the nation, undermine that trust.”
“The decision by Rochester Police to keep details of this incident hidden from the public until forced to reveal them raises numerous questions about the use of force by law enforcement, the handling of mentally ill individuals by the police and the transparency of police departments, for which we do not yet have sufficient answers. We will await the outcome of ongoing investigations and legal inquiries until passing judgment.”
“In the meantime, NYSBA has established a Task Force on Racial Injustice and Police Reform that is analyzing many of these important issues. We look forward to the issuance of its report and recommendations.”
About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, the Association has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.
Contact: Susan DeSantis