‘I don’t want to be the 13th’ – Rikers inmate shares perspective after another in-custody death
The New York City Department of Corrections says a person in custody at the Eric M. Taylor Center on Rikers Island died Monday.
The person was not identified, and his death is under investigation, officials said.
DOC Commissioner Louis A. Molina issued a statement saying, “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of this person in custody. We will conduct a preliminary internal review to determine the circumstances surrounding his death. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones."
This is the twelfth death in Rikers custody this year. One inmate who reached out to News 12 told reporter Katelynn Ulrich that he doesn’t want to be the 13th.
“I just need to be more careful,” said Duquawn Cassidy. “Try to take better care of myself and try to be on top of it. If I see another inmate with any type of need or help or care, try to be aware of it."
Cassidy says he is also housed at the Eric M. Taylor Center but didn't know the person who died. He says the death of another inmate shapes his perspective.
"I just feel like – just seeing that and hearing that – I just got to be stronger for my family, pray for his family, and pray for others to make it through this because it's not over,” he says. “Some of us make mistakes but that doesn't mean we're bad people."
A spokesperson with the NYC Health + Hospitals Correctional Health Services says they're working to provide more information about jail medical services.