US Officer Charged in Daniel Prude Death

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Police in the US city of Rochester said that an officer was charged in relation to the March 2020 death of Daniel Prude, a black man who died of asphyxia while in police custody, media said.

Police were called to respond to an incident involving 41-year-old Prude, who appeared to have a psychotic episode. Body camera footage showed police pinning him to the ground and putting a mesh spit mask over his head, the WROC news channel said. He lost consciousness and died in hospital a week later.

Rochester police served Mark Vaughn, an officer seen in the video leaning on Prude’s head and neck, with “departmental charges” on Thursday. His attorneys said the restraining technique was used in line with the latest training.

The medical examiner’s office ruled Prude’s death a homicide. The cause of death was identified as “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.” The experts also found a small amount of hallucinogenic PCP drug in his system.

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