Joe Prude, the brother of Daniel Prude, appeared on Cuomo Prime Time Thursday night where he spoke about his brother’s death, and corrected a misconception. Daniel was killed in March in Rochester, New York while in police custody. The death is only making national news now because body cam footage of Daniel’s encounter with police was just recently made available to the public. Daniel was in handcuffs and the officers had used a “spit sock” to cover his head when he became agitated and the officers restrained him. Daniel died at the scene in what was ruled a homicide caused by complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint, excited delirium and acute PCP intoxication. Cuomo referred to Daniel as an addict and a “habitual drug user,” and Joe said those assertions just aren’t true. In fact, he said Daniel didn’t know he was doing PCP.
“Someone smoked a laced blunt with him that had PCP on it,” Joe said, later adding, “My brother went to a party with some friends. You know, I don’t know if it was intentional, but somebody had to either slip something in the blunt he smoked, and my sister called me immediately and said, man, our brother is not acting right…Something’s not right. My brother ain’t never act like this here.”
When Daniel unexpectedly left Joe’s house that night and Joe called the police, he informed them that Daniel was having a mental health episode. Joe now counts himself among a growing number of Americans calling for an option other than police officers to handle such cases.
“Do you wish that you had a different number to call so that it wasn’t police, it was people who know how to deal with somebody who’s having a mental health episode?” Cuomo asked. “Yes, I wish I did have a different number to call,” Joe replied, “because that number I called, that was not the number I needed and that was not the help that I was looking for.”
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