Today was a sad day for the City of Rochester as we heard that the Grand Jury has decided not to indict the officers involved in the death of Daniel Prude. This is another chapter in a story that African Americans and all Americans for that matter, hear too often; A black man’s life was lost while in police custody. This tragedy is unfortunately exacerbated by the fact that officials tasked with leadership and oversight were not transparent or forthcoming with information and answers that our citizens deserve. The death of Daniel Prude happened in March and the community was not made aware of this tragedy until September. The senseless loss of a life is devastating, and the erosion of trust between the citizens, police, and elected officials is perilous. We have a responsibility to ensure these types of tragic events do not happen in this City, or anywhere. Our community must trust that its leaders can and will do better. In particular it must be required that mental health professionals handle mental health incidents, and unconscious bias training should be required for police officers on an ongoing basis. I agree with Attorney General James and her call to amend the use of force law, that currently too often results in the deaths of minorities, black men in particular. I continue to keep Daniel Prude and his family in my thoughts and prayers. We owe it to Daniel Prude to ensure that we have systematic change in the criminal justice system, especially policing.
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