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Ex-police chief not cooperating with probe of Prude’s death

October 27, 2020 GMT
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FILE - In this Sept. 2, 2020, file photo, candles light a makeshift memorial for Daniel Prude, a Black man who died while restrained and in police custody in Rochester, N.Y., in March. Prude died of asphyxiation after a group of police officers put a "spit hood" over his head, then pressed his face into the pavement for two minutes, according to video and records released by his family. Prude died after he was taken off life support, seven days after the encounter with police in Rochester. The independent investigator leading a probe of Rochester's handling of Daniel Prude's death says the city's ex-police chief is refusing to cooperate. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)
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FILE - In this Sept. 2, 2020, file photo, candles light a makeshift memorial for Daniel Prude, a Black man who died while restrained and in police custody in Rochester, N.Y., in March. Prude died of asphyxiation after a group of police officers put a "spit hood" over his head, then pressed his face into the pavement for two minutes, according to video and records released by his family. Prude died after he was taken off life support, seven days after the encounter with police in Rochester. The independent investigator leading a probe of Rochester's handling of Daniel Prude's death says the city's ex-police chief is refusing to cooperate. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Rochester’s former police chief is refusing to cooperate with a City Council probe of the response to Daniel Prude’s death, the lawyer leading the investigation said Monday.

La’Ron Singletary was subpoenaed by the council earlier this month to provide documents and testimony related to the death of Prude, a Black man who died after police restrained him on the ground in March. Information about Prude’s death wasn’t disclosed publicly until early September, when Prude’s family released police body-worn camera video.

Singletary, who was f ired by Mayor Lovely Warren amid protests over handling of the case by police and City Hall, claims he’s not bound by a subpoena since he’s no longer a city employee, attorney and lead investigator Andrew Celli Jr. Celli said.

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Singletary’s lawyer, Michael Tallon, said in a letter to Celli last week that records sought from Singletary will be preserved. He questioned the integrity of the investigation and said he will wait until other city officials, including the mayor, give testimony, and then decide how best to cooperate.

“Chief Singletary’s refusal to cooperate in the investigation, while very unfortunate, will not materially impede our progress,” Celli said in a statement Monday.