Rochester, New York, Mayor Lovely Warren said that seven police officers were suspended in the wake of the asphyxiation death of Daniel Prude while in police custody. She also said that she had requested bodycam video of the incident from the police department.
Prude's death was the latest incident of a black man dying in police custody that sparked outrage and protest.
"Mr. Daniel Prude was failed by our police department, our mental health care system, our society, and he was failed by me," said Warren. "I'm filled with grief, and anger at myself for all the failures that led to his death."
Police were called by Prude's brother in March because the man was suffering from a mental episode. They arrived to find the man naked and attempting to break into a vehicle. They apprehended him and placed him in a spit hood because he had reportedly told them that he had contracted the coronavirus.
Video of the altercation from police body cameras were released on Wednesday.
In the video, police push Prude to the ground as he becomes more agitated. They take a knee to his back, and press his face into the ground to subdue him, but he loses consciousness.
He was taken by paramedics to a hospital where he was declared brain dead, placed on life support, and died seven days later.
The Monroe County medical examiner's office found that Prude died from "complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint," and noted acute PCP intoxication and "excited delirium" as contributing factors.
The videos were released after the family filed a Freedom of Information Act request, and they have called for the officers to be charged with murder.
Mayor Warren said that the death of Prude was caused by racism.
"Institutional and structural racism led to Daniel Prude's death. I won't deny it, I stand before it, and I call for justice upon it," she said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement in support of the investigation and denounced the death of Daniel Prude.
"What I saw was deeply disturbing and I demand answers," Cuomo said.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Here's the video of Prude's interaction with police:
Daniel Prude Death: Body Cam Video Shows Rochester Police Arrest | NBC New Yorkwww.youtube.com