NEW YORK (PIX11) — Five days after an officer was fired following an inmate’s death, another incarcerated person was found dead at Rikers Island.
According to officials, the inmate — who was housed at the Anna M. Kross Center — died at about 10:13 a.m. Friday. Their cause of death is under investigation.
“We are extremely saddened by yet another death in custody,” Commissioner Louis Molina said in a statement. “Any death in custody is intolerable and we are investigating both of the deaths that occurred this week aggressively.”
The Legal Aid Society, which represents the man, said city officials’ “continued decisions to send people into dangerous conditions, and inability to address the root causes of that danger, amount to a refusal to recognize our clients as human beings.”
According to the man’s lawyers, he was “caged at Rikers Island over crimes of poverty.”
“He was held in an observation unit charged with ensuring his safety, yet he was still deprived of the services that he needed and deserved,” the statement continued. “Had [he] been spared detention, he would have been connected to programming, and he would be alive today.”
The inmate, who has not been named by the Department of Correction, is the tenth detainee to die so far this year. Nine of those individuals died at Rikers, while the tenth was housed at Bellevue Hospital’s Prison Ward. Another individual died days after he was granted compassionate release, officials said.