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  • Writer's pictureMicah French

Daniel Prude, Reaction

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

Only 1 note on the Daniel Prude video, I won't rehash everything BLM related.

Law enforcement is asked to do too much with too little training for the variety of situations they encounter.

Daniel Prude's brother called the police to assist as Daniel was having a mental episode. The officers found him outside, in the snow, completely nude.

Being naked he's obviously unarmed, and he IMMEDIATELY complies with the officer's commands, getting on the ground in the middle of the road and allowing them to cuff him without any resistance saying "yes sir" to every command.

But... then what?

Their next move is to put a spit hood over his head to protect themselves. I don't see a problem with that, COVID19 exists. Headlines that highlight the hood for shock value are unnecessary.

Ok... now you've got a crazy person sitting naked on the ground in freezing cold weather with a hood over their head... what now?

If you see that man as a human being, if you empathize with him, you find a blanket, you get him a shirt, you get him in a warm car, you do something to get him out of the cold and out of danger.

This is the rub for people who are bothered by this video. We watch it and in our head we're begging law enforcement to help the person in front of them. When we see Daniel Prude we see a family member, a friend, someone we care about who could potentially be in that same situation one day.

Instead the officers stand around him talking amongst themselves and laughing while Daniel continues flailing, screaming nonsense.

After a few minutes laying in the street Daniel Prude starts to get up. That was the action that warranted his death sentence.

Now the officers are faced with a situation they're trained to deal with... someone not following a command to stay down. 2 officers get on him, one pressing his face into the pavement, the other on his back.

Daniel loses consciousness, he never wakes up again.

His brother called the police for help because Daniel was having a mental health crisis, and the end result was Daniel's death. If you don't see anything wrong with that outcome and the series of events leading up to it then I can only assume it's because when you look at Daniel Prude you don't see a person.

This instance is a good example of society asking law enforcement to do things we don't provide them proper training for. They're not therapists, we shouldn't expect them to be therapists, but we're constantly asking them to be therapists/drug rehab specialists/marriage counselors/etc./etc.

We need to provide additional resources that can go along with them on calls like this, and there needs to be enough of them available to respond in timely manner. I don't think they can completely replace officers in these situations, if you only send in a counselor they probably get their nose broken and that's the end of that.

However, once you've established that the situation is relatively safe, a +1 mental health professional in the responding team may be able to talk Daniel Prude down and prevent the need to crush the man into the concrete. Additionally that +1, trained to be more focused on the health and safety of Daniel Prude in that situation, probably has the wherewithal to get the man a damn blanket.

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