Former Rochester Police Chief Says Mayor Informed Him To Lie

The Rochester police chief, who was fired after Daniel Prude’s death, claimed Friday that the city’s mayor had pressured him to lie about the incident.

La’Ron Singletary was sacked by Mayor Lovely Warren in September after announcing his retirement. In a dismissal claim, Singletary wrote, according to NBC News, that Warren was concerned that Singletary’s testimony to the city council would undermine Warren’s claims that Singletary was hiding information from her.

oliSingletary added that Warren had asked him to omit facts and provide false information in support of her claim that she didn’t learn important details about Prude’s death until months later. A termination claim is usually a precursor to a lawsuit. According to Singletary, Warren’s allegations regarding Prude’s death were false, defamed his character and ruined his reputation as a law enforcement officer.

A Rochester city spokeswoman Bridgette Burch White said in a statement the city will “fully defend taxpayers against this frivolous lawsuit.” White added on Singletary’s version of the incident and its aftermath, and confirmed Warren’s claim that Singletary never showed her the body camera of the incident and that she didn’t see it until August when a city lawyer made it available.

According to Spectrum News, Singletary attorneys said, “We stand ready to bring any evidence to support these allegations to a sworn jury, and their verdict will tell the public whether Mr. Singletary’s allegations are valid or frivolous. “

The former police chief’s lawsuit was included in the city council’s petition last week attempting to enforce a subpoena for Singletary to testify and produce documents on the incident.

Prude, a 41-year-old black man, suffered a mental episode after tapping PCP and walking naked on the street. Police spotted Prude and held him face down on the sidewalk for more than two minutes. He died on the night of March 23rd.

Prude’s death was later counted as homicide. However, the news didn’t gain nationwide coverage until September when body camera footage of the incident was released. The video showed Prude lying naked in the street while the police stood around telling jokes about Prude. The footage sparked several protests in the Rochester area as many blamed Prude’s death on racism.

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