Lawyer: Prude Killing Similar to Killing of Lawrence Rogers

Lawrence Rogers
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[Lawrence Rogers\Daniel Prude]
Van White: "They had [Rogers] in the prone position where he couldn't really breathe, allegations that an object was put over his head. As a result of these actions by police, he suffocated and died."

Attorney Van White says he sees similarities between the Rochester Police killing of Daniel Prude and the Rochester Police killing of Lawrence Rogers.

One week after body camera video of Daniel Prude's encounter with police rocked the Rochester community, local attorney Van White says he can't help but find similarities between it and a case on which he's worked closely.

"It was almost like a bad nightmare that I never stopped having," said White.

In August of 2002, White says Rochester native Lawrence Rogers was acting in a bizarre manner while inside of a former Wegmans on Driving Park Avenue, which led employees to call police.

Civil court documents say Rogers, who was Black, was yelling and even bit an officer during a mental health episode.

Hours later, Rogers was dead.

White represented Rogers' estate in a civil case back in 2006. The surveillance video of Rogers' arrest and the body camera footage showing RPD's encounter with Daniel Prude in March of 2020 are strikingly similar, White said.

"They had [Rogers] in the prone position where he couldn't really breathe, allegations that an object was put over his head," White said. "As a result of these actions by police, he suffocated and died."

In surveillance video White sent to 13WHAM, Rogers is seen shirtless as he is apprehended by police. An officer's knee can be seen on his neck.

White says Rogers was held in the prone position in the paddy wagon on the way to the hospital. Rogers, he said, complained he couldn't breathe.

In witness testimony, officers placed a hospital sheet and a pillow over Rogers' face while he was at the hospital to prevent him from biting and spitting for several minutes as he was being injected - with what, the testimony doesn't say.

In an affidavit, medical examiners listed Rogers cause of death was attributed to asphyxiation with an underlying excited delirium syndrome. However, White says Rogers death was never ruled a homicide and no criminal charges were ever filed.

"When they got him in the hospital bed on the gurney, they strapped him down and put a hospital sheet folded over multiple times just over his face, and for nine minutes, held it there," said White.

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