What Happened to Daniel Prude?


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Sep 08 2020 30 mins   10

This episode contains strong language.

In March, Daniel Prude was exhibiting signs of a mental health crisis. His brother called an ambulance in the hopes that Mr. Prude would be hospitalized, but he was sent back home after three hours without a diagnosis.

Later, when Mr. Prude ran out of the house barely clothed into the Rochester night, his brother, Joe Prude, again called on the authorities for help, but this time it was to the police.

After a struggle with officers, Daniel Prude suffered cardiac distress. It would be days before Joe Prude was able to visit him in the hospital — permitted only so he could decide whether to take his brother off life support — and months before the family would find out what had happened when he was apprehended.

Today, we hear from Joe Prude about that night and examine the actions taken by the police during his brother’s arrest, including the official narrative that emerged after his death.

Guest: Sarah Maslin Nir, a reporter for The New York Times, who spoke to Daniel Prude’s brother, Joe Prude.

For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily

Background reading:

  • In the minutes after Mr. Prude’s heart briefly stopped during a struggle with officers, an unofficial police narrative took hold: He had suffered a drug overdose. But the release of body camera footage complicated that version of events.
  • The Monroe County medical examiner ruled Mr. Prude’s death a homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.” Seven Rochester police officers have now been suspended.