Unsealed: Judge grants motion to make grand jury minutes in Daniel Prude investigation public

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — During Tuesday’s press conference in Rochester, New York Attorney General Letitia James said she wanted the judge overseeing the Daniel Prude death investigation to unseal the grand jury minutes.

Tuesday evening, her motion for which was approved. A statement from the attorney general:

“As I have contended throughout my entire career, there can be no accountability without transparency, and the public deserves to know what transpires behind closed doors. That is why I filed a motion with the court to have the grand jury proceedings of this case unsealed and made available to the public, which the judge has just granted this evening. As soon as the judge authorizes, my office will release those proceedings so the Prude family, the Rochester community, and communities across the country will no longer be kept in the dark. This is a critical step in effecting the change that is so desperately needed.”

The grand jury elected to not indict any of the officers involved on criminal charges. The attorney general said she was “extremely disappointed” in the grand jury’s conclusion. Her office compiled a report of recommendation for police reform in response to Prude’s death, including use of force standards and mental health response.

“I am disappointed, extremely disappointed,” James said. “Unfortunately, historically, if one analyzes the intersection of the criminal justice system and race, one recognizes the influence of race. From the slave clothes, to lynches, to Jim Crow, to the war on crime, to the over incarceration of the people of color. Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and now Daniel Prude.

“We need to have a conversation about the issues and the reality is that all of us suffer from unconscious bias,” James said. “But we need to have a systematic change in the criminal justice system and police in New York, and all throughout this nation, and we need to analyze the numbers, analyze the race of the individuals who are no longer with us, and reform the practices, if we are going to focus on a more just criminal justice system and a more perfect union.”

Seven Rochester police officers were suspended with pay in connection to the incident: Officers Mark Vaughn, Troy Taladay, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris, and Sgt. Michael Magri.

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