Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s only public mention of the case before this week came on July 15, three months after a county medical examiner had ruled it a homicide, when the governor issued an order formally declaring that the attorney general had jurisdiction.
And even as the nation erupted In outrage over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died In Minneapolis after a police officer held a knee to his neck, New Yorkers were kept In the dark about another death In police custody.
Days after Mr. Floyd’s death, state prosecutors asked a City of Rochester lawyer to withhold body camera footage from the public because releasing such evidence would interfere with the office’s investigation, the mayor’s office said on Thursday.
The attorney general’s office denied this, noting that the city and the Rochester police department were “free to move forward with their own investigation.” Rochester city officials, however, repeated their assertion on Friday.
A combination of factors may have ultimately caused Mr. Prude’s death, according to the medical examiner’s report. But the release by Mr. Prude’s family of officers’ body camera footage from that night — showing a naked Black man, handcuffed and hooded In the falling snow — radically complicated the police narrative.
His death added another name to the list of Black people, including Mr. Floyd and Breonna Taylor, who lost their lives after police encounters, leading to unrest In the nation’s streets and providing a potent issue In the 2020 presidential election.