The children of Daniel Prude are suing the city of Rochester, N.Y. and at least six police officers in federal court, alleging civil rights violations, gross negligence and wrongful death. The 41-year-old man died of asphyxiation last March after being restrained by police while he was in the midst of a mental health crisis.
Attorneys representing Nathaniel McFarland, one of Prude's five children and the administrator of his estate, filed the lawsuit on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, NPR reports.
In a 27-page complaint, the family says that Prude's death, and alleged attempts by the department and city officials to later cover it up, violated his constitutional rights protecting against unreasonable search and seizure. Officials also failed to adequately respond to his medical condition, the complaint states.
Prude's family also accuses the city of several systemic failures, including maintaining an "utterly broken" system of reviewing allegations of excessive force by police officers and not adopting training or policies to protect the rights of people experiencing mental health crises "despite obvious need."