Joe Prude and the Daniel’s Law Coalition Statements Regarding Daniel’s Law “Taskforce”
Statement from Joe Prude, brother of Daniel Prude:
“It’s been three years since my brother was killed by police while he was experiencing a mental health crisis. His life mattered, but the Governor’s budget says otherwise. I’m deeply concerned about Governor Hochul’s decision to reject funding for a Daniel’s Law pilot program in the final budget. I’m also disappointed by the lack of urgency in giving the task force nearly three years to make any recommendations around implementation. This was an opportunity for her to show us that she cares about Rochester and believes that the lives of all New Yorkers who’ve been lost to police intervention while in crisis are worth fighting for.
“As the task force is named after Daniel, I call on Governor Hochul to involve the Prude family in decision making and to ensure that this task force is committed to creating a non-police response program in our state. Anything less is a slap in the face. I’m grateful to the Daniel’s Law Coalition, and Rochester champions Senator Brouk and Assembly Member Bronson for making sure his death was not in vain.”
Statement from the Daniel’s Law Coalition:
“The Daniel’s Law Coalition wants to thank Senator Brouk, Assembly Member Bronson, numerous other legislators, and our allies who have fought for Daniel’s Law. Despite their advocacy, the final budget creates a task force named after Daniel Prude, but which fails to include the hallmarks of Daniel’s Law that were designed to ensure no one else in crisis is killed at the hands of police – the integration of peers with lived experience, and the centering of a non-police, public health first response.
“The “Daniel’s Law task force” is charged with reviewing and recommending a model crisis and emergency services system for New York State. Because the task force is named after Daniel Prude, a Black man who died of asphyxiation after being restrained by police officers during a mental health crisis in Rochester, we call on the Governor to ensure that appointments to this task force, and its charge, honor his memory. That means including and centering peers with lived experience in mental health and substance use issues, recognizing the harmful and racial impacts of a policing-first approach particularly on people of color and people with disabilities, and ending our over-reliance on police as first responders to people in need. Although the taskforce only requires one peer member, we call on the OMH Commissioner to ensure that other members appointed to the task force are people with lived experience to create a balance of at least 51% peer membership.
“Our current policing models continue to put people like Daniel Prude at risk, so we also call on the taskforce to move with urgency and release its report recommending a response that centers peer-led and culturally competent responses to mental health crises well before the December 31, 2025 deadline permitted by the statute.
“The Daniel’s Law Coalition will continue to support the full funding and passage of Daniel’s Law. Individuals experiencing a mental health crisis need a peer-led mental health crisis response — not police.”
The Daniel’s Law Coalition seeks to pass legislation in New York state that would end our over-reliance on police as first responders to mental health and substance use crises. Members of the coalition include:
- Correct Crisis Intervention Today – NYC (CCIT-NYC)
- Fountain House
- Free The People – Rochester
- Long Island United to Transform Policing and Community Safety
- New York Civil Liberties Union
- National Alliance on Mental Illness – Queens/Nassau
- New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services
- New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
- New York Working Families Party
- Partnership for the Public Good – Buffalo
- Public Issues Committee of the Long Island Council of Churches
- Rochester Alliance of Communities Transforming Society, Inc.
- Rochester City Wide Tenants Union
- Showing Up for Racial Justice – Rochester
- Social Justice Committee of the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock
- The Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY)
- VOICE Buffalo
- Voices Of Community Activists And Leaders – NY
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