The City of Rochester has reportedly agreed to pay $12 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Daniel Prude’s family.
According to the Democrat & Chronicle, the settlement, which is the largest in the city’s history, was announced by Rochester Mayor Malik Evans via a press release on Thursday morning (October 6).
"Given the costs of continued litigation, this settlement was the best decision,” Evans said. “It would have cost taxpayers even more to litigate, and would have placed a painful toll on our community.”
Following Prude’s death, there was perception from the public that city officials tried to cover it up, leading to weeks of protests beginning in September 2020. That led to the firing of Rochester’s police chief and the departure of senior RPD command.
Prude died while experiencing a severe mental health crisis. On Thursday, Prude’s son Nathaniel McFarland said in a press release that his father’s “only crime was needing help.”
In addition to the settlement, attorneys for Prude’s estate called for the New York Legislature to pass “Daniel’s Law”, a bill that would replace police response to calls for mental health interventions with trained mental health professionals.
“No purely monetary settlement can truly address the fundamental problem of police violence that underlies this tragic case,” Attorney Matthew Piers said in the press release, according to the Democrat & Chronicle. “Policing in this country must be reformed to be more humane. This is true especially, but not only, in communities of color that are so frequently harmed by systems that purport to serve and protect them.”