Mayor Lovely Warren's administration has engaged in a back-and-forth with both members of city council and the Rochester Police Locust Club about who had access to information, and what was known, about Daniel Prude's death in police custody in March.
City Council President Loretta Scott released a statement saying she was not aware of the circumstances of Prude's death until the video of his arrest became public, although she says she was told by the mayor in early August that a man died of an overdose in police custody.
Meanwhile, the mayor's director of communications sent Spectrum News a series of emails that his office claims to show Rochester Locust Club President Mike Mazzeo had access to the body cam video as early as April 2. The emails allegedly show Mazzeo and several other people copied into a request to share body worn camera footage with members of the Locust Club.
Mazzeo said in a press conference Friday that he first saw the video when it became public last week.
He released a statement Thursday further clarifying his stance. Mazzeo says the union was following protocols in that it would only review body camera video if there was an internal investigation.
"When requesting Body Worn Camera (BWC) videos after an incident, I am copied in those and all similar requests for information. This is done to acknowledge the designee requesting the videos or information is authorized to make the request on behalf of our organization. Our requests are sent to the BWC unit which follows their internal processes for releasing the videos to the union, per protocol.
If an internal investigation commences, a review of the videos will then be started in the course of our representative responsibilities for our members. The union had no information that there was any need for an internal investigation or that there were any concerns with the actions of our members. As I have stated before, we have no information relative to when, how, nor what, the Mayor was advised from the department regarding the Prude incident. The union is not a part of discussions between the Chief of Police and the Mayor.
For City Hall to suggest that the union is a part of some type of cover-up, with her own appointed Chief of Police, is absurd. The decision for the entire command staff of the RPD to relinquish their command on the actions and statements of the mayor should be a concern of the leadership and the stability of Mayor Warren.
In order of complete transparency, I did not review the videos of the Prude incident on April 2, 2020 as no internal investigation had commenced. In fact, the first time I saw any video related to Mr. Prude was after the press conference which aired on September 2, 2020."