Photo: Getty
  /  10.08.2022

Daniel Prude’s family was awarded a $12 million settlement from the city of Rochester on Thursday (Oct. 6). ABC News reported that attorneys for the family said the agreement is the largest in the city’s history. 

Prude, 41, was arrested and had a spit hood placed over his head while experiencing a mental health emergency in 2020. He repeatedly called for help, citing that he was struggling to breathe before he lost consciousness. After being resuscitated, he laid in a comatose state for a week before he was removed from life support. His cause of death was ruled homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint,” according to an autopsy report obtained by The New York Times.

Prude’s five children are the recipients of the multi-million-dollar payment. Nathaniel McFarland, Prude’s son, sued the city and six officers for his father’s wrongful death and civil rights violation. He said the settlement is a step in the right direction.

“Nothing can ever truly compensate me and my siblings for the killing of our father by the Rochester police .. My family needs to heal, and communities need to know that there will be at least some accountability when police kill people like my dad, whose only crime was needing help,” said McFarland.

Attorney Matthew Piers echoed a similar sentiment. “This settlement is a very large monetary recovery for a very serious fatal civil rights violation. No purely monetary settlement can truly address the fundamental problem of police violence that underlies this tragic case,” said Piers.

Rochester’s Mayor Malik Evans said the resolution was a means to prevent the city from drawing out a costly lawsuit. In a released statement, Evans said, “Given the cost of continued litigation, this settlement was the best decision. It would have cost taxpayers even more to litigate, and would have placed a painful toll on our community … It is now time to look forward so we may work together and focus our efforts on Rochester’s future.”

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