An independent investigator says some city officials "knowingly suppressed" information and gave false statements about the March death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who was killed by police.
Attorneys representing Nathaniel McFarland, one of Prude's five children and the administrator of his estate, also allege civil rights violations and gross negligence in the lawsuit filed Monday.
"We concluded that there was sufficient evidence surrounding Mr. Prude's death to warrant presenting the case to a grand jury, and we presented the most comprehensive case possible," officials said.
La'Ron Singletary was fired from Rochester Police Department in September. Prude, a Black man with a history of mental illness, died of asphyxiation after an encounter with officers in March.
"Her understanding is that the officer basically told her 'I can't do that. I can't call anyone else,' " family attorney Lorenzo Napolitano told NPR Thursday.
Demonstrators gathered near a Rochester police precinct not far from where a 9-year-old girl was pepper-sprayed last week. One officer has been suspended, two others placed on administrative leave.
The incident renews scrutiny of the city and its police department following the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died of asphyxiation after an encounter with police in March.
Mayor Lovely Warren was indicted last week on charges of felony campaign finance violations. She has recently faced unrelated calls to resign over her handling of the Daniel Prude case.
Daniel Prude's family knew he was having a psychiatric crisis and needed care. A few hours after his release from Strong Memorial Hospital, an encounter with police proved fatal.
Efforts are growing to remove or reduce the role of police in responding to people in a mental health crisis. Critics and proponents alike say a widely adopted program has too often failed.