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Mayor Lovely Warren announced that she had fired Police Chief La’Ron Singletary — and he learned of his fate the same way we all did… via social media.
Warren also suspended Corporation Counsel Tim Curtin and Communications Director Justin Roj without pay. Mark Simmons, deputy chief of administration, was named acting chief. He will fulfill the role for the next 30 days.
The announcement comes on the heels of a management review conducted by Deputy Mayor James Smith.
“This initial look has shown that we have a pervasive problem in the RPD – one that views everything through the eyes of the badge and not the citizens we serve,” Warren said.
“It shows that Mr. Prude’s death was not taken as seriously as it should have been by those who viewed the case throughout city government and at every level, and that it was seemingly viewed by all concerned as an unfortunate set of circumstances, which we all know was not the case,” she added.
Prude died in Rochester back in March while in police custody. Officers attempted to restrain him using a “spit-hood,” and recently released body camera footage of the incident surfaced showed the struggle before his death. Protests ignited across the city.
Last week, Warren vowed to take action during an address to reporters in a news conference, which lasted just 90 seconds.
“I can assure this community I am committed to institutional reforms necessary in our police department. I know that there are many questions, but this just occurred and honestly I do not have all the answers today.”