The Rochester Police Department’s “entire command staff” announced their retirement on Tuesday, the mayor there said, amid raging protests over the death of Daniel Prude, the black man who was killed while being subdued by city cops while he suffered an apparent breakdown.
Chief La’Ron Singletary, a 20-year veteran of the force, had faced calls for his resignation from Black Lives Matter activists over his handling of the investigation into Prude’s March death — though he’d said as recently as Sunday that he wouldn’t step down.
In a press release announcing his retirement, Singletary blasted what he called the “mischaracterization and the politicization of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr. Prude’s death.”
“As a man of integrity, I will not sit idly by while outside entities attempt to destroy my character,” the statement said. “The events over the past week are an attempt to destroy my character and integrity.”
He added: “The members of the Rochester Police Department and the Greater Rochester Community know my reputation and know what I stand for.”
Deputy Chief Joseph Morabito also announced his retirement, though he didn’t state a reason, saying in a statement that serving on the force was “one of the proudest achievements of my lifetime.”
“I have often reflected on my time growing up in this City, and the many friends and neighbors who helped guide me and encouraged my decision to become an officer,” Morabito said. “I have never regretted that decision, and the people who I have had the privilege of assisting throughout my service.”
No successors were immediately named.
The police chief was scheduled to join a briefing with Mayor Lovely Warren just moments before his retirement was announced.