Family of Daniel Prude files new wrongful death lawsuit against City of Rochester, police

Monroe County

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The family of Daniel Prude has filed a new wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Rochester and the Rochester Police Department.

The filing seeks compensation for Prude’s five children.

“My father had a hard life, but he was a great dad. He always showed me and my brother and sisters how much he loved us. Our hearts are broken by his death, but this lawsuit has given us hope for the future,” Nathaniel McFarland, Daniel Prude’s eldest son, said in a statement.

MORE | Daniel Prude death: No charges for Rochester police officers

A release from officials states that this filing replaces previously legal claims that were filed in September, and now includes his five children.

According to the release, in January, Judge Geraci ruled McFarland as the Estate Administrator should take charge of the lawsuit that was originally filed.

The amended complaint charges that both the actions of the Rochester police as well as the subsequent attempted cover-up by the police and city government of Rochester “constitute violations of Mr. Prude’s constitutional and common law rights.”

“You could hardly find an example of a worse response to mental health crisis than what happened to Daniel Prude that night,” Matt Piers, one of the lawyers for the estate of Daniel Prude said. “The failure to provide effective measures to respond to people in mental health needs is another systemic failure in the City of Rochester that needs to be addressed.”

The amendment reads:

“His family sought help from the Rochester police, and that was a mistake — a fatal mistake. Instead of providing him with care and assistance, officers of the Rochester Police Department cruelly abused him, mocked him, and killed him. Mr. McFarland’s attorneys stress that while all were disappointed with the failure of the New York Grand Jury to indict the Rochester police offers, this case will show that Mr. Prude’s 4th and 14th Amendment rights were violated and that now, with public scrutiny, they are confident that those responsible will be held accountable.”

MORE | Timeline of Daniel Prude’s encounter with Rochester Police on March 23

Piers said that under the law, the proper recipients of any recovery by his estate are his children and only his children.

Earlier this month, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the officers involved in the death of Daniel Prude will not face charges after a grand jury elected not to indict.

“The failure to indict the officers involved it’s very distressing, but in a sense not surprising,” Piers said. “It’s a secret procedure. Unlike the civil rights case we are bringing now, we have no idea what evidence was presented and how.”

Watch the full press briefing:

Full lawsuit:

Check back with News 8 WROC as we update this developing story.

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