NEW YORK (PIX11)– A correction officer was fired immediately after an inmate died at Rikers Island Sunday, making it the ninth death in Department of Correction custody this year, officials said Monday.
Elijah Muhammad, 31, died at around 10:30 p.m. at the George R. Vierno Center, said a spokesman for the DOC. The Office of the Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death.
Following the incident, a correction officer was terminated and the matter was referred to the Department of Investigation, according to DOC Commissioner Louis A. Molina.
“It is heartbreaking when someone dies while in custody,” Molina said. “We treat every death with the utmost seriousness and understand that it is our mandate to keep every person entrusted to our care safe.”
While Muhammad is the ninth detainee to die so far this year, another individual died days after he was granted compassionate release, officials said.
Antonio Bradley, 28, was found unresponsive in a Bronx Court holding pen on June 10, according to the DOC. He was given aid and was rushed to a hospital for additional treatment.
Bradley was given compassionate release on June 15. Three days later, he died.