State lawmakers and elected officials are once again eyeing the passage of a measure that would create mental health units in cities to provide alternative responses to police officers after no indictment was returned in the death of Daniel Prude.
Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday announced no officers would be indicted after Prude died last year while in police custody. At the time, Prude was in throes of a mental health event.
“Daniel Prude was in the throes of a mental health crisis and what he needed was compassion, care, and help from trained professionals," James said. "Tragically, he received none of those things."
The case has led to the introduction of a bill, called Daniel's Law, to create mental health units that would be tasked with de-escalating situations that led to Prude being taken into custody by police.
“Daniel died alone and naked on a Rochester street in the middle of a freezing winter night, and no one is being held accountable for that," said Sen. Samra Brouk, a Democrat who introduced the legislation. "This is not justice. We need increased transparency and oversight on investigations involving law enforcement, and we need healing, care, and compassion for people experiencing a mental health and substance abuse crisis.”
Municipalities around the state, meanwhile, have been tasked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to develop their own police reform plans, a move ordered in the wake of George Floyd's killing last year. Those plans are due by April 1 and linked to state aid to local governments.