Former Rochester, N.Y., Police Chief La’Ron Singletary says Mayor Lovely Warren asked him to provide false and incomplete testimony in a City Council investigation into the case of Daniel Prude, who died in March after being restrained by police, reports the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. The allegation, and Singletary’s detailed timeline of events, are spelled out in a notice of his intention of suing the city. Singletary’s filing is his first accounting of his version of the events leading to his departure. “I repeatedly refused to lie for Mayor Warren,” Singletary said. Singletary announced his retirement Sept. 8, leading a mass exodus of the police command staff after the mayor allegedly asked him to alter his testimony to support her narrative that she wasn’t given full information about how Prude died at the hands of police. Warren fired him a week later.
The city released a statement Wednesday night that said Warren “was never shown the body worn camera footage of the incident by former chief Singletary … The city will fully defend taxpayers against this frivolous suit.” A medical examiner found that Prude, 41, lost oxygen to his brain while being pinned by officers as they waited for medical transport. His death was ruled a homicide. Attorney Andrew Celli, hired by the City Council to conduct an inquiry, said Singletary is the only person who hasn’t testified. Celli said, “One of the main issues of the inquiry is whether the [police department] provided complete and accurate information to the mayor and other city leaders at the time of Mr. Prude’s mental health arrest and death.”