Inmate death is 9th at Rikers Island prison complex in 2021 | New York News
NEW YORK (AP) – A 24-year-old man found dead in his cell on Rikers Island was the ninth inmate to die at the ailing prison complex this year, officials said.
A correctional officer found Esias Johnson unconscious on Tuesday morning, officials from the Department of Corrections said. Medical staff declared him dead at 9.45 a.m.
“The circumstances surrounding this death will be fully investigated,” New York City Corrections Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said in a statement. “We have been in contact with Esias Johnson’s closest relatives and offer them our deepest condolences.”
Johnson had been in custody for a month and was being held on charges of a threatening and fugitive arrest warrant.
His death was the ninth at Rikers in 2021 and follows two last month. Brandon Rodriguez died on August 10 and Segundo Guallpa died on August 30, according to Corrections Department records.
Council member Keith Powers, chairman of the criminal justice committee, called the deaths of nine inmates “unacceptable.” Powers said on Twitter, “There’s a reason so many of us have sounded the alarm bells in Rikers and in New York City correctional facilities. We are in crisis mode and must act.
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