‘He was stabbed in the chest.’ Demonstrators rally outside governor’s office, demand Rikers Island closure

Just days after two inmates died at Rikers Island, New Yorkers rallied in Manhattan to demand that Gov. Kathy Hochul close the jail complex.

News 12 Staff

Mar 21, 2022, 11:14 PM

Updated 826 days ago

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Just days after two inmates died at Rikers Island, New Yorkers rallied in Manhattan to demand that Gov. Kathy Hochul close the jail complex. 
The deaths mark a total of three deaths at Rikers Island this year, after more than a dozen deaths last year. 
Advocates rallied outside the governor’s office to call for the closing. Herman Diaz and George Pagan are the latest inmate fatalities announced at the prison. 
Their deaths follow a gut-wrenching number of deaths last year, with 16 inmates dying - the highest number of inmate deaths since 2013. 
Demonstrators say conditions are not only deplorable, but that violence is also through the roof. A recent report shows that the jail has become more dangerous over time, with more than 6,000 fights in 2021, and more than 40 stabbings and slashings just in January. 
Marlene Mcallister says her grandson, who’s in custody at Rikers Island, knows firsthand about the violence. 
"He was stabbed in the chest and head in February. They need to shut it down,” said Mcallister. 
The rally comes as Gov. Hochul announced plans to roll back on bail reform, a move that demonstrators worry could increase the number of inmates at the jail.
The Department of Corrections says the recent deaths are being investigated.


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