Inmate dies at Rikers Island, marking 13th death in DOC custody this year
Another Rikers Island inmate has died while in the custody of the Department of Corrections. This marks the 13th death of an inmate in custody this year.
DOC officials tell News 12 that 40-year-old inmate Michael Nieves died Monday night while being housed at the Anna M. Kross Center. He had been in custody since June 8 for a first-degree burglary charge.
A New York Times report states that officers looked on for nearly 10 minutes after Nieves slit his own throat with a razor. The corrections department has not confirmed that report, but three uniformed staff members have been suspended.
DOC Commissioner Louis A. Molina released a statement sending condolences to the Nieves’ family.
The statement also read in part, "A preliminary review of this incident required we take immediate action and suspend three uniform staff members. Any death in custody is a tragedy and we will be investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident."
Legal Aid has vocally spoken out against the practices at Rikers Island before, and is demanding the videos of the staff during the incident be released so that “New Yorkers can truly understand what takes place in the jails.”
Several advocacy groups, including HALT Solidarity & Freedom Agenda, plan to hold an emergency rally Thursday at 12 p.m. outside of City Hall to demand action in light of the most recent Rikers Island death.