Family says DOC 'failed' Elijah Muhammad, demands answers for Rikers Island death
Mourning continued for Elijah Muhammad on Friday night after his death on Rikers Island earlier this month.
The 31-year-old father of four died while in custody on July 10 after his attorney says he was isolated for 32 hours and died of a fentanyl overdose.
Muhammad's heartbroken family wants answers now.
"How is it that in a 24-hour secure facility... there was complete disregard for his mental illness as well as medical care?" said his cousin Tarnisha Smith.
In addition to the $25 million in damages they are seeking for wrongful death, they want Rikers closed and the rest of the officers to be punished.
Sanford Rubenstein, the attorney for Elijah Muhammad's family said, “We want any correction officer who played a part in this wrongful death to be held accountable criminally."
After Muhammad's death, the Department of Corrections said they fired one officer.
The DOC issued a statement to News 12 that said in part: "Our hearts go out to the grieving family and friends of Elijah Muhammad. After a preliminary review of Mr. Muhammad’s death, we took swift action against the staff involved."