Mayor Lovely Warren and Chief La’Ron Singletary were not at the scene of 435 Jefferson Ave the night of Daniel Prude’s murder. However, they are the villains within this political warfare, who have been vilified by the community they vowed to protect and serve. The dismantling of their careers went down in a firestorm of finger-pointing and accusations after failing to inform the public of Prude's death.
The white police officers responsible for Mr. Prude's death were allowed to remain on duty months after his death. Now, everyone and their mama are calling them out, including government officials like Governor Andrew Cuomo and former Mayor Bob Duffy. Cuomo is demanding answers into the investigation of Prude’s death. The governor signed an executive order in 2015 that 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 later learned 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 city government. The endless conflicting comments and accounts only further erode the public’s confidence.”
As many 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? On several occasions, Warren mentioned she was being advised by counsel and most of her actions were based on the advice of her law department. 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 Prude’s death. 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.