An unarmed black man died in New York state after he was hooded by police and held face down to the road for two minutes, body camera footage shows.

Daniel Prude, 41, who had mental health issues, was restrained in March by police who put a “spit hood” – a device used to stop detainees spitting or biting – on his head.

He later died of asphyxiation but his story has only now been made public.

His death was two months before the killing of George Floyd.

Mr Floyd died after a white policeman knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes in Minnesota. Anti-racism protests broke out in the US and globally in the wake of his killing.

Tensions have risen again in the US in recent weeks after black man Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back during an arrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on 23 August, sparking violent protests in the city.

“I think we should let the judicial system work its way,” he told a news conference in Delaware. “I do think, at a minimum, they need to be charged, the officers.”

Protesters gathered in the city of Rochester, New York, on Wednesday over Mr Prude’s death. Several people were briefly taken into custody after entering the Public Safety Building, which serves as police headquarters, local media reports say.

US Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday dismissed accusations that black and white Americans were treated differently due to police racism.

In an interview with CNN, he said it was very rare for an unarmed black person to be shot by white officers.

“I think the narrative that the police are in some epidemic of shooting unarmed black men is simply a false narrative,” he said.

How did Daniel Prude die?
In a news conference on Wednesday, Mr Prude’s brother, Joe, said he called police in Rochester on 23 March as his sibling was suffering from acute mental health problems.

“I placed a phone call for my brother to get help, not for my brother to get lynched,” he said.

A warehouse worker from Chicago and father of five, Daniel Prude was visiting his brother at the time of his death.

Police body camera footage obtained by the family through a public records request shows Mr Prude, who had been running naked through the streets in a light snow before police arrived, lying unarmed as officers restrain him on the ground.

The video shows that Mr Prude complied immediately when officers arrived on the scene and ordered him to lie on the ground and put his hands behind his back. He can be heard saying: “Sure thing, sure thing.”

He becomes agitated, at times swearing at the officers who surround him and spitting, but he does not appear to offer any physical resistance, according to the footage.

Mr Prude told officers he was infected with coronavirus, and they placed a white “spit hood” over his head.