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Police officers shown on body camera video holding Daniel Prude down naked and handcuffed on a city street last winter until he stopped breathing will not face criminal charges, according to a grand jury decision announced Tuesday.

The 41-year-old Black man’s death last March sparked nightly protests in Rochester, New York, after the video was released nearly six months later, with demonstrators demanding a reckoning for police and city officials.

Read More: Former police chief says mayor told him to lie about Daniel Prude investigation

State Attorney General Letitia James, whose office took over the prosecution and impaneled a grand jury, said she was “extremely disappointed” and would meet with Prude’s brother, criminal justice advocates and faith leaders in Rochester to devise a plan to fight for a more just system.

“While I know that the Prude family, the Rochester community, and communities across the country will rightfully be devastated and disappointed, we have to respect this decision,” James said in a prepared release. “Serious reform is needed, not only at the Rochester Police Department, but to our criminal justice system as a whole.”

In this Sept. 3, 2020, file photo, Joe Prude, brother of Daniel Prude, right, and his son Armin, stand with a picture of Daniel Prude in Rochester, N.Y. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffre, File)

Lawyers for the seven police officers suspended over Prude’s death have said the officers were strictly following their training that night, employing a restraining technique known as “segmenting.” They claimed Prude’s use of PCP, which caused irrational behavior, was “the root cause” of his death.

The video made public on Sept. 4 shows Prude handcuffed and naked with a spit hood over his head as an officer pushes his face against the ground, while another officer presses a knee to his back. The officers held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing. He was taken off life support a week later.

The county medical examiner listed the manner of death as homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint” and cited PCP as a contributing factor.

Prude’s family filed a federal lawsuit alleging the police department sought to cover up the true nature of his death.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a news conference about the ongoing investigation into the death of Daniel Prude on September 20, 2020 in Rochester, New York. Prude, who is Black, died March 30 after being taken off life support following his arrest by Rochester police. (Photo by Joshua Rashaad McFadden/Getty Images)

Officers Troy Taladay, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris and Mark Vaughn, along with Sgt. Michael Magri, were suspended after Prude’s death became public.

Democratic Mayor Lovely Warren fired police chief La’Ron Singletary shortly after the video’s release, while rejecting calls from demonstrators that she resign. Singletary has said in legal papers that Warren told him to lie to support her assertion that she hadn’t learned of Prude’s death until months later, and fired him for his refusal to do so. A city spokesperson said his version of events confirms Warren never saw the video until August.

Read More: Rochester mayor, embroiled in Daniel Prude controversy, indicted on felony campaign finance fraud charges

Warren announced a run for a third term in January and pleaded not guilty in October to an unrelated indictment alleging she broke campaign finance rules and committed fraud. The city’s public integrity office found no ethical lapses by the mayor in a narrow review of Prude’s death.

The city halted its investigation into Prude’s death when James’ office began its own investigation in April. Under New York law, deaths of unarmed people in police custody are typically turned over to the attorney general’s office, rather than handled by local officials.

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McConnell seeks rule change to ensure Daniel Cameron is his replacement

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is reportedly plotting his exit from politics, and he has reportedly named his protégé, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, as his top replacement. 

According to multiple reports, McConnell plans to step down before the end of his term. Under the current state law, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear would choose the person to fill the vacancy until a senator is formally elected. However, McConnell is allegedly trying to eliminate this statute by pushing new legislation that would allow the state GOP to select his successor. Beshear is a Democrat and McConnell wants his seat to go to another Republican.

“The new legislation, Senate Bill 228 — dubbed by some inside the state Legislature as the Daniel Cameron Election Bill — was filed on February 10, 2021, during the Kentucky General Assembly’s 30-day “short” session,” The Intercept wrote.

Read More: Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron should be impeached

Cameron, the first Black attorney general in the state of Kentucky, tops McConnell’s list of potential successors. As theGrio previously reported, three grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case have filed a petition to impeach Cameron over his handling of the proceedings, citing prosecutorial misconduct. The petition says Cameron breached the public trust and the duties of his office when he misrepresented the findings of the grand jury in the Taylor case.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has compiled a short list of successors in his home state of Kentucky, preparing for the possibility that he does not serve out his full term, Kentucky Republicans tell The Intercept.

— The Intercept (@theintercept) March 4, 2021

An earlier report by theGrio noted that Cameron stood in the way of justice for Taylor — a Black woman killed by police for simply being home — and he sought to block the votes of Black people who made Biden the president. He faced fierce backlash from celebrities over his failure to arrest the police officers responsible for Taylor’s death. Cameron also appeared to defend the angry mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol during former president Donald Trump’s Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6. 

McConnell, meanwhile, blamed Trump for sparking the attack. “There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it. The people that stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president,” he said.

“And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole, which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on the Earth,” McConnell added.

Read More: AG Daniel Cameron wants Breonna Taylor evidence to stay sealed

McConnell also said the mob breached the Capitol because it was fed “wild falsehoods” by Trump, who was “angry he had lost an election.”

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

The 79-year-old Kentucky Republican has held his Senate seat since 1985 and won a seventh term last November. According to the Intercept, two other names on McConnell’s list of successors are former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft and Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams.

If Senate Bill 228 becomes law, per The Intercept, “the appointment to fill a vacancy will be selected from a list of three names submitted by the state executive committee of the same political party as the senator who held the vacant seat,” the outlet writes.

theGrio’s David A. Love contributed to this story.

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