Top police leaders in Rochester, New York, announced their retirements Tuesday.
Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, Deputy Chief Joseph M. Morabito and a commander retired, while two more leaders gave up command positions.
Black Lives Matter activists have called for Singletary to resign or be fired over how his department handled the investigation into the death of a black man who a medical official said was under the influence of PCP earlier this year.
Singletary said that he won’t “sit idly” while outside forces try “to destroy my character,” adding that events “over the past week are an attempt to destroy my character and integrity.”
“The mischaracterization and the politicization of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr. Prude’s death is not based on facts, and is not what I stand for,” he said.
Prude, a 41-year-old male from Chicago, died during an encounter with police in March. Video footage of the incident was released last month in the midst of nationwide unrest and riots.
An autopsy report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his death a homicide, but it also stipulated that his cause of death included “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.”
The New York Attorney General’s office is investigating the incident.