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The mayor of Rochester, New York, has promised to reform the police as protests continue over the death of a black man in police custody.

Daniel Prude died in March after officers put him in a “spit hood”, designed to protect police from detainees’ saliva.

Footage of the incident was released on Wednesday, sparking days of protests.

Mayor Lovely Warren announced a series of changes to policing in “the coming weeks, months and years”.

Seven police officers have been suspended over the incident. On Saturday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a grand jury would be formed to investigate the 41-year-old’s death.

Mr Prude’s death came two months before that of George Floyd, whose killing while in police custody sparked global outrage and demonstrations against police brutality and racism.

What did the mayor say?

Though she did not provide specifics, Ms Warren said the crisis intervention team and its budget would move from the police department to the youth and recreation services department.

Mr Prude suffered from mental health issues, and Ms Warren addressed that aspect.

“We had a human being in a need of help, in need of compassion. In that moment, we had an opportunity to protect him,” the mayor said at a news conference on Sunday.

“We have to own the fact that in the moment, we did not do that.”

Both Ms Warren and police chief La’Ron Singletary, who was also at Sunday’s news conference, vowed to stay in charge and reform the police, despite calls for the pair to resign.

“I am committed to doing what’s necessary… And I know the chief is committed to doing what’s necessary, to better serve our citizens and our community,” the mayor said.

Police said around 1,000 protesters marched through Rochester on Sunday night. There were no arrests. Read more

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