The death of a 27-year-old woman at Rikers Island in 2019 had made seventeen corrections officers in New York City to face disciplinary action, according to the announcement by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday.
Owing to this, it has also been revealed that one captain and three officers will be suspended without delivering any pay.
The woman who died last year on June 7, Layleen Polanco, 27, was in solitary confinement and was awaiting trial as she was unable to pay her $500 bail.
However, the woman later died of an epileptic seizure, according to her lawyers.
Owing to this incident the mayor said in a statement that whatever happened to Layleen was completely unacceptable and that it was critical owing to the fact that there is accountability.
He further added that Polanco’s death was an incredibly painful moment for all the citizens of the city.
However, after putting in six months of investigation into Polanco’s death, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark concluded the matter and declined to bring charges against the officers.
Following this, a statement was passed on Friday by Elias Husamudeen who is the president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association calling the disciplinary action an egregious abuse of power that was in all means unprecedented.
He further added that they’ll vigorously fight these suspensions and won’t allow the city to demonize Correction Officers.
Moreover, a report was also made earlier this month by the city’s Department of Investigation, which explicitly focused on the 47-minute gap during which officers failed to keep a check on Polanco in her cell.
Thus, officers violated a Department of Correction policy according to which every 15 minutes checking of inmates in solitary confinement is mandatory.
In addition to this, Cynthia Brann who is the city’s corrections commissioner said that all their looking for is the safety and well-being of people in their custody, which seamlessly is their top priority.