Rochester, New York Mayor Lovely Warren relieved police Chief La’Ron Singletary of his duties on Monday. She said it was effective immediately. It was just a week after he announced plans to retire at the end of the month.
The Mayor was citing a preliminary review into the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man with mental health issues who died after having been put in a “spit hood” and restrained by officers in March, as the reason for Singletary’s relief.
Singletary and two other high-ranking officers announced their retirements last week, amid days of protests demanding transparency into the aftermath of Prude’s death. The chief and mayor have been criticized for waiting months before bringing the circumstances of Prude’s death to the public.
Warren said during a press conference Monday that she ordered the internal review into Prude’s death and that the public should have been made aware of his death before September, when body camera footage was released by his family.
She also said she was suspending two others, the city attorney and her own communications director, for 30 days without pay. They were relieved for “failure to act, inform and follow policy and procedures,” Warren said.
“The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and know what I stand for,” Singletary, 40, said in his resignation letter. “The mischaracterization and the politicization of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr. Prude’s death is not based on facts, and is not what I stand for.”
It’s unclear whether Singletary will be able to draw on his retirement benefits after being relieved by Warren Monday.
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