One thing is clear, Mayor Lovely Warren and Chief La’Ron Singletary were not at the scene of 435 Jefferson Ave the night Daniel Prude died. However, they have been the villains within this political warfare, and the community they vowed to protect and served has turned on them. The dismantling of their careers went down in a firestorm of finger-pointing. Many accusations flew around after failing to inform the public of the death of Prude.
Unfortunately, the White police officers responsible for Mr. Prude's death were allowed to remain on duty months after his death. Now, the community, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and former Mayor Bob Duffy are calling them out. Cuomo is demanding answers into the investigation of Prude’s death. The governor signed an executive order in 2015. The executive order states anyone who dies in police custody will automatically create a case that will be investigated by the Attorney General. At one point, Warren claimed that investigation prohibited her from doing a separate investigation. We learned later that was a lie. As things went from bad to worse, Duffy released the following statement, “There is no excuse that can justify why the death of Daniel Prude was not communicated to the community for five months. It signifies a failure on many levels, and it has created a breach of trust and confidence in the city government. The endless conflicting comments and accounts only further erode the public’s confidence.”
As some lineup to conduct target practice on the mayor and chief, there are still questions looming. For starters, who is the person or persons responsible for providing counsel to the mayor? And who knew what and when? In the past, Warren stated she was advised by her legal department not to release the information. According to the City of Rochester’s website, Tim Curtin is responsible for overseeing the law department, responsible for all legal business related to the administration, City Council and City boards, and commissions. In a news conference on September 4, 13 Wham published a quote of Curtin stating, “We decided, while the investigation was still pending, that we would wait for the investigation to be completed before we took any action in terms of internal discipline or any action respecting the matter of Mr. Prude’s passing,”. So, why aren’t we calling for his resignation?
On Wednesday, September 9, during a briefing with City Council, the mayor apologized for failing to “fully” inform the City Council of the death of Prude. Shortly after that briefing, Warren released a statement in which she claimed that she “fully briefed” City Council President Loretta Scott on Prude’s death within forty-eight hours of viewing the video.
As more baffling information comes to light, it is clear that Warren is channeling the fictional character Nino Brown in her attempt to live out the idea of, “if I'm going down, I'm taking a whole lot of people with me.”
The truth is, there are no winners here. Politics is a game of chess, not checkers, and the very people who decided it was time to have the first black female mayor, are the same people deciding that it is time for her to go. Warren and Singletary were the black puppets being “played” by the white puppeteer using the same old playbook that always ends with divide and conquers.