Rochester City Council trying to stop development of new $12.5 million police center

New information on Daniel Prude's death prompted some city leaders to reevaluate the project

City leaders in western New York submitted legislation Friday to halt the development of a $12.5 million police building amid ongoing protests over the death of a Black man while in police custody.

Rochester City Council President Loretta Scott, along with councilmembers Mitch Gruber and Mary Lupien, are hoping to repeal bonding and prohibit any contracts for the proposed Rochester Police Department Goodman Section and Southeast Neighborhood Service Center, Rochester First reported.

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Calls to the Rochester Police Locust Club, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, were not returned.

The projects were approved Aug. 18 before details of the death of Daniel Prude were made public. Prude died March 30, a week after an encounter with police in which he was suffocated to death. His death was ruled a homicide and ignited a new wave of protests over police tactics.

Backlash over Prude's death prompted the Rochester Police Department's command staff to resign this week and other officers to return to their previous rank.

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"In the weeks since the August City Council meeting, the Council and community learned about the tragic death of Daniel Prude while in police custody in March," a letter to the council signed by Scott, Gruber and Lupien reads, according to the news outlet. "This new information, and the recent retirement or voluntary demotion of the entire RPD Command staff, has led the Council to reconsider the appropriateness of the project at this time."

The council is expected to vote on the legislation Tuesday.